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“Yeah, pup, right there.”

Mason growled, the sound vibrating into Nora’s core. His arms were wrapped around her thighs, holding her tightly to his face as he slid the tip of his tongue against her clit from beneath her.

“Suck my clit,” she commanded. “Harder.” He obeyed and sucked her clit into his mouth aggressively, nibbling at it. “That’s such a good boy,” she praised, one of her hands lowering to run her fingers through his hair lovingly. “Now put your tongue in me.”

The Alpha did as he was told, releasing her clit from his lips after flicking against it once more, then pushing her hips up his face and thrusting his tongue into her entrance. The tip of his nose rubbed against her sensitive bud, and that coaxed her into grabbing fistfuls of his hair to hold his head in place as she started rocking her hips back and forth.

“Yes, yes, yes,” she moaned, her legs trembling as she started rocking harder. Her movements began straining the muscles in his neck as they became more aggressive, sending shooting pains through them. But Nora riding his face so hard was too fucking hot that he just didn’t even care. The pain was fuckin’ worth it.

“Oh my god, I’m gonna cum. I’m gonna fucking cum. Don’t stop.” Mason groaned against her as she admitted how close she was, his cock aching impatiently against his stomach, just begging to be touched. He flicked his tongue inside her, shifting his head from side-to-side – as much as he could while she was grasping his hair and riding his face, anyway – to rub his nose against her clit a bit more.

And that fuckin’ did it.

Nora screamed his name, her legs trembling around his head as she tried to clamp them around it, but he held her open as he helped her ride through her orgasm. Her back bowed and she gripped his hair tighter, almost to the point of pain, but it only egged him on to keep pleasing her.

As soon as it became too much, she pulled his head back and looked down at him with glazed eyes. “You’re such a good boy,” she cooed.

Fuck yes, he was.

“Do you want to fuck me now?” she asked, one hand leaving his hair to wipe her slick from his face with two fingers.

“Yes, Boss,” he replied. God, did he ever want to fuck her.

Nora slipped her fingers into his mouth, watching him suck her cum from them. “Beg for the privilege to fuck me, Alpha,” she commanded after sliding her fingers free from his lips once he’d cleaned them.

“C’mon, Boss. Let me fuck you. You know I take care of you, do you right, make you cum over and over; you love takin’ my cock.”

“Mm. It doesn’t sound like you want it that bad, pup. It just sounds like you’re saying what you think I want to hear.”

That made him growl. He hated begging, but he loved begging for her. “Please let me fuck you, Boss.”

“Why should I?”

“Because I’m so fuckin’ hard for you and I’m achin’ and I want you so goddamn bad. Please, Boss.”

Nora grinned before sliding down his body, being sure to rub her dripping cunt down his chest and stomach, leaving a trail of her slick behind on his skin as if she were marking him with it. She stopped above his cock, then rubbed her folds along his length as it rested along his lower belly. “I don’t want you to wash that off for the rest of the day. I want everyone to be able to smell the sex on you. Do you understand, pup?”

God, that was so fuckin’ hot. “Yes, Boss.”

----

“Good boy,” Nora cooed before reaching down to grab Mason’s cock. She lined him up with her cunt, gently teasing the head against her entrance and watching him squirm impatiently beneath her before sinking down on him roughly, taking him to the hilt in one fluid motion. It made her yelp in a mixture of pain and pleasure; they hadn’t fingered her to stretch her out beforehand like usual. She didn’t want to today; not this time.

No. This time, she wanted to feel the sharp, burning pain between her legs. The pain of being stretched by his thickness as he slid all the way to the hilt and pressed against her cervix.

Mason had groaned when she sank down on him, but after her yelp, he seemed to feel the need to comfort her. The Alpha sat up, wrapping one arm around her body to hold her tightly to his chest, the other going between them to let his thumb rub gentle, slow circles on her clit; his lips placed gentle kisses to her neck, just below the leather collar that was wrapped around her throat. It matched the one around his own; they were almost identical. Handmade, leather, with chain-link metal designs around it. And only worn in the bedroom.

“You take me so good every time, Boss,” he whispered against her neck, dragging his tongue along the column of her throat. “So fuckin’ tight; so fuckin’ perfect.”

“Mm. God, pup,” she whined, wrapping her own arms over his shoulders and slipping one hand into his hair so her fingers threaded into the red locks. He continued kissing at her neck as she adjusted to his size, but as soon as the burning subsided and she felt more comfortable, the hand in his hair grasped a fistful of it and yanked his head back so he was forced to look at her.

Mason visibly winced at the pain in his neck, clearly having some soreness in it that was probably related to how hard she was riding his face earlier. She ignored it – she’d take care of him when they were done. Right now, he needed to fuck her. “I want you to fuck me as hard as you can; hard enough so I’m numb for the rest of the day. You can move me into whatever positions you want in order to do it, I don’t care, but I want you to take whatever pent up stress and anger you have out on my cunt.”

Nora watched a fire light behind his eyes. God, he was fucking incredible.

“But,” she added, “I want you to make me cum at least three more times, and you need to tell me before you cum. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Boss,” he growled, and the sound just shot straight between her legs.

Nora leaned in, her free hand cupping Mason’s jaw as she gave him a gentle kiss – something they still did every time they were sexual. Once it was broken, she bit her lower lip before giving him a smirk. “Well, what are you waiting fo—”

The Overboss didn’t even get to finish the rest of her sentence before Mason was on his feet, still inside her, with his mouth at her neck. His hands had traveled down to her ass, taking handfuls of it as he held her tightly against his chest. She sighed softly at the kissing, but just as soon as she tipped her head back, he used his grip on her ass to pull her hips away from his groin – pulling his own back at the same time – and slammed their bodies together.

The Overboss screamed from a mixture of surprise, pain, and amazing fucking pleasure. Her cunt spasmed around him almost immediately as she came, but he never let up, instead just brutally pounding into her by pulling their hips apart in opposite directions and then slamming them together over and over again. Nora’s nails dug into his back, leaving red welts that sometimes overlapped and even broke the skin at some point.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, Mason!” She pressed the side of her face against his, both leaders panting into the other’s ear as he kept fucking her, never letting up. One of his hands pulled away from her ass and swatted the same spot he once held, the sound echoing in the small room, before he grabbed there again to continue holding her up.

But just as she started getting close again, the Alpha turned and began moving toward the bed, then dropped her on it haphazardly before going to his knees in front of her. He reached out and grabbed her hips, pulling her to the edge of the mattress and spreading her thighs so he could slowly slide his tongue up her folds. Nora moaned and arched her back, hands balling into fists with the sheets in them.

Mason sucked her clit into his mouth and nibbled on it as two fingers slid into her wet cunt, then a third. He pumped in and out before crooking them and pressing the pads against the bundle of nerves hidden in there; it forced a loud moan from her chest and her legs trembled once again. Considering she was already so close moments before, it didn’t take much for her to cum again – tensing around his fingers and wiggling against his mouth from sensitivity as she moaned his name.

He greedily lapped up her cum before standing. Strong hands grabbed her hips again, this time yanking her a bit closer to the edge of the bed before Mason’s cock sunk into her once more, retrieving another moan from her. The Alpha straightened her legs to be against his chest, closed them, and then set them against one of his shoulders. There was a difference in tightness with her legs closed – she could feel it. And by the look on his face, so could he.

Mason eagerly began pumping in and out of her, slapping their hips together as one of his rough hands reached down to grab one of her breasts, squeezing, while the other swayed with each thrust. “So fuckin’ tight,” he growled.

“You about to cum, pup?” Nora asked, her breathing heavy enough that she had to speak between pants.

“Not a fuckin’ chance.”

God, the things this man did to her.

----

Mason arched her hips up a bit, angling himself differently inside of her so he could get deeper, drawing more moans from the woman beneath him.

But he slid out of her after a few more thrusts, then grabbed her hips and pushed her further back along the bed, prowling onto it with her. Nora bit her lower lip, which made his cock pulse between his legs because that was just so fuckin’ sexy, but he grabbed her hip and roughly flipped her onto her stomach.

She seemed to assume he wanted her on her hands and knees because she stuck her ass in the air, but that wasn’t his plan. No, he had a new idea for tonight. The Alpha pressed a large hand onto her lower back, shoving her flat against the mattress again, and then pushed her legs closed. As he straddled her thighs, just below her ass, she looked back at him with raised eyebrows.

Her gaze was first on his cock, watching him stroke it a few times just above her ass, his fist occasionally touching her as he did. But when she raised her eyes to look at his face, she seemed almost startled that he was already staring down at her with nothing but lust behind his irises.

Mason leaned over to place gentle nips and licks to the back of the Overboss’ shoulder as she shuddered beneath him. His body was so much bigger than hers, he could very easily take every ounce of control she had and dominate her, but he never did. Instead, he always waited for her to give him whatever amount of control she wanted – like now – and he would greedily eat it up.

But only what she gave him. Never more.

He pressed his cock between her legs, prodding a few times before finding her entrance and sinking into her with a smooth, fluid motion. A moan left his lips, the tightness of the new position even more than the last one. Another swat was made on her ass cheek, harder than the last time, and it left a red handprint on her pale skin. Looked so fuckin’ good.

The Alpha dragged one of his hands up her spine and then back down before he grasped at her hips and started fucking her – hard; the slaps of skin where their bodies met over and over were loud but nearly drowned out by Nora’s moans. He slid a hand from her hip, back up her spine again, and to her shoulder, fingers curling around the bone for leverage to help him drive into her harder.

“Oh, god, Mason. Don’t fucking stop.”

“Gonna cum soon, Boss.”

“You better not cum before me,” Nora threatened with a growl.

Mason grunted but kept pushing into her, using the hand that was left on her hip to swat her ass cheek again.

But the buildup was getting overbearing. It was becoming too much.

He needed to cum. He was gonna cum.

“Boss,” he growled, “I’m gonna cum.”

“You better – fuck – hold it in, pup. I’m so close.”

The Alpha gritted his teeth, his fingers digging into her hip and shoulder hard enough to bruise her pale skin. He could feel the pressure in his balls, ready to release – begging for release – but he was trying his hardest not to cum yet. He wanted to be a good boy for her, and good boys didn’t cum first.

“Fuck, Mason,” she screamed; and the second he felt her cunt tightening around him, he couldn’t hold it in anymore. Mason groaned, thrusting as far into her as he could go when he found his release. The buildup of pressure was gone, and he not only felt the post-orgasm high, but also a sense of relief from not having to fucking hold it anymore.

Both leaders were breathing heavily, and Mason leaned forward to place his forehead against her spine, just below her neck, mixing the sweat on his face with the sweat on her body. His hands slowly slid up her sides, rubbing the soft, prewar skin beneath his calloused fingers and palms.

This woman was fucking incredible.

Chapter Text

“It’s been a month and we’re no closer to recovering any of the zones. If none of the gangs are willing or capable to do it on their own, and they’re certainly not willing to work together to do it, then I’ll just have to get it done myself.”

“You’ll at least take someone with you, right?” Gage asked as he leaned back against the counter behind him, arms crossed over his chest. The two had been going back and forth about the five Nuka-World zones for ten minutes now, and Nora had grown frustrated with her second-in-command.

“Of course. I’ll decide who gets which zone before I go and then take the leader of that gang with me to clear it out.”

“Now, hold on a second, Boss,” Gage said, seeming a bit alarmed at her plan, “I don’t know if bringing the leaders with you is a great idea. What if something happens to them out there and only you come back? And there’s also the issue of one of the gangs not even having a second-in-command. If you take Mags, then William is here to hold down the Operators; same with taking Nisha while Dixie and Savoy stay behind. But Mason has no second, so the Pack will be running free with no Alpha. And with no Overboss on top of that? That’s even worse.”

“No, they won’t. They’ll be listening to you,” she answered, putting her hands on her hips.

The raider just looked at her as if she were crazy, and Nora was beginning to really hate that expression on his face. “If you think that group of wild animals – and that’s putting it mildly – is gonna listen to me while you and Mason are gone, you must only be paying attention to the dick goin’ between your thighs and not how the rest of the gang acts when you’re in their territory.”

Nora’s eyes narrowed and she stepped closer to him, slowly. “Here’s how this is going to play out, Gage, so listen closely. You’re going to babysit each gang while I recapture whatever zone I decide to give them, and that includes the Pack.” When she finally stood in front of him, she stopped, her blue eyes glaring up at his hazel ones. “And you’re going to stop fucking complaining about it because I’m still getting the job done regardless of whether it’s the way you like it or not.”

Porter tipped his head up slightly and straightened his back, as if he were trying to tower over her more than usual, though he still remained silent.

“And if you ever talk about a dick going between my thighs again, you won’t have one of your own. Do I make myself clear?”

Silence filled the air at first as Gage refused to answer her, the two just staring each other down before he finally gave in. “Yeah,” he said flatly.

“Good. Now, I’m gonna make some preparations to take the Galactic Zone first. Be a dear and retrieve the Alpha for me, will you?”

---- 

Nora sat on the floor near the power armor station, her back against the counter that was situated in the center of the room, while a large map of the park was spread out on the flor in front of her. There were words written all over it in different colors, and lines were drawn every which way to connect locations. A few more papers were scattered around, mostly reports that detailed what scouts were able to find from the zones without venturing inside, but nothing terribly revealing.

The sound of the lift reaching Fizztop Grille was followed by heavy footsteps that could only belong to an equally heavy body. Soon enough, Mason rounded the corner of the bar, his green eyes peering down at her as she sat on the floor. “Hey, Boss,” he greeted, “Gage said you needed to see me?”

“Yeah,” she said, still not looking at him; her eyes stuck on the map in front of her. “I’m going to start moving on the parks. My plan is to take the leader of whichever gang I’ll be giving the zone to with me to clear it.”

“Mm,” he nodded, looking at the map and following a few of the red lines with his eyes. “Where you goin’ first?”

Nora leaned forward and pointed to the Galactic Zone on the map, just to the left of the main park. “The Galactic Zone. From my understanding, that’s where the park’s main power output is, and there’s only one gang leader I trust enough to be that close to the entire power output for the park.”

Mason smirked and returned his eyes to her, but she still hadn’t looked up at him. “And who would that be?”

“Nisha, of course,” she said in a playful tone, finally raising her eyes to him. A growl rumbled in his throat as he went to move toward her, but she held her hand up, flat, palm facing him. He stopped. “Oh, no, you don’t. Gage will be back up here soon.”

“Aw, c’mon. I’ll be quick, I promise. We’ll hear him comin’ up the lift and be dressed before he hits the top.”

“Nothing is ever quick with you, Mason.”

The smirk on his face broadened. “What do I gotta do? Beg?”

The Overboss seemed to think over the question for a moment before returning the smirk. “Alright, yeah. Get on your hands and knees and beg me.”

Part of him regretted even making the joke, but he obliged and lowered down to a crouch – noticing how her eyes dropped between his legs to spot how he was already semi-hard and pressing against his pants – and then onto his knees, and finally lowering to his hands, as well. “Please, Boss?”

“I thought you wanted to fuck, pup? Doesn’t really sound like it.”

The Alpha growled again and began prowling toward her on his hands and knees. “Please let me fuck you, Boss. It’s been a few days, but it’s felt so much longer. I miss the way you feel wrapped around my cock.”

Nora raised her leg, placing her foot against his face to stop him in his tracks. “I didn’t say you could come any closer, pup.”

“You drive me fuckin’ crazy, I swear,” he groaned.

“Good. Did you bring your collar?”

“… No.”

“Bad boys don’t get to cum, Mason. You should have brought your collar.” Nora lowered her foot from his face, but he just stared at her, disappointment clear in his expression. “Tell me you’re a bad boy, Mason.”

“… I’m a bad boy.” And he was. He shouldn’t have forgotten his collar.

“And why are you a bad boy?”

“Because I didn’t bring my collar.”

“I suppose I could let it go this one time, but what happens if you forget it again?

“I won’t, Boss. I promise,” he answered quickly.

“Hmm. I’ll still need to punish you, though, but I think I’ll let you cum this time.” She thought for a moment, but when a wicked grin spread across her lips, he knew he was in for it. He’d seen it so many times. “Alright, pup. You can take me from behind. Help me up.”

The Alpha was quick to stand, taking only one stride to be in front of her and leaning down to pull her to her feet. Nora turned so her body was facing the bar, her hands immediately going to the countertop while his lips found her neck, placing kisses and licks along her skin. His hips pressed into her ass, rubbing his erection against her aggressively while his hands started undoing her the pants to her road leathers.

“Mm, I can’t wait to be in you, Boss,” he growled, dragging his tongue along the dip between her shoulder and neck, only stopping where her shoulder disappeared beneath her top. The button and zipper on her pants were undone and he slid them down to her knees. One of his hands went between her thighs from behind, rubbing along her slit before dipping one finger into her. “God, it never takes you long to be so fuckin’ wet for me.” Nora moaned, pressing herself back against him as he slid a second finger in, pumping them in and out while his other hand slipped around her front and started stroking her clit. “Better hurry, Boss. Don’t want Gage to catch ya in such a compromisin’ position, do ya?”

“Fuck Gage,” she growled, pushing herself back against his hand a bit more roughly.

That made the Alpha chuckle, and he started pumping his fingers in and out of her faster, allowing his other hand to rub circles around her clit a bit more aggressively. He could feel her thighs begin to tremble as she held herself up and he knew she was already getting close. The Alpha took that opportunity to slip a third finger in, then immediately crooked all three, pressing their tips against that hidden bundle of nerves in her cunt. It made the Overboss moan loudly, her back bowing as she came.

“Yeah, that’s right. Cum for me,” he growled in her ear.

Nora’s body rocked back and forth against his fingers as he helped her ride her orgasm out, a soft bite being placed against the back of her neck, but nowhere near enough to bruise. ”Take your pants off and fuck me, Mason. Now.”

The Alpha grinned. “Yes, Boss,” he said while he removed both hands from her body and undid his pants, sliding them down mid-thigh and stroking himself a few times. The tip of his cock pressed against her entrance, then slowly slid in; she moaned his name – always the prettiest fuckin’ sound – as she tensed around him. It never mattered how much time he took to stretch her, because she always tensed and needed time to adjust once he was actually inside. Well, unless she said otherwise, of course.

“Always so fuckin’ tight,” he praised, biting the back of her neck again.

“Shut up and fuck me.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said with a chuckle, beginning to rock his hips back and forth – slowly for the first few thrusts, but gradually increasing in speed until he was pounding his hips against her ass. The slapping sounds of skin on skin rang in his ears and sounded like fuckin’ music, just like they did every time. One hand went to her hip while the other reached around to rub at her clit again, and she began pushing herself back against him with every thrust he made, as if she were begging for more.

“Fuck, Mason,” she moaned, her legs trembling beneath her. His eyes dropped to where their bodies met over and over, seeing himself disappear into her and how her ass jiggled every time he hilted. He definitely liked watching himself fuck her, there was no doubt about that.

“You are so fuckin’ sexy, Nora,” he growled, swatting her ass cheek.

Normally, she didn’t have an issue with it – sometimes even encouraged it – but she wasn’t very happy with the swat today. “Don’t hit me,” she snapped, and Mason instead rubbed at the spot he swatted as if soothing the reddening skin. “Fuck,” she whined, and he could almost feel her thighs trembling every time he pushed against her. She was close. “I’m gonna cum, Mason. Don’t stop.” The hand that was rubbing the red mark on her ass cheek went up to her shoulder, wrapping his fingers around it so he could pound into her harder while his other hand still stroked her clit.

“Fuck yes. Cum for me again,” he growled, and that seemed to push her over the edge as she moaned his name while her upper body fell flat against the counter, leaving her ass sticking out for him. Both of his hands went to her hips as he started driving into her, edging closer to his own orgasm.

“Fuck, Mason!” she screamed, her nails digging into the wooden countertop beneath her.

“Gonna cum, Boss,” he groaned.

“Cum in me.”

Hearing her tell him to cum inside her was always a fuckin’ thrill; it was like claiming her every time. There was something amazing about burying himself in her tight cunt and shooting his seed deep in her, as if he were trying for cubs. It was almost primal.

He looked down to where their bodies met again, watching himself pound into her; in and out, in and out. That, paired with her moans, sent him over the edge, his hips slamming into hers one last time and burying himself as he came – the small, barely noticeable thrusts helping him along as he filled her.

They were both panting, but Nora didn’t give him any chance to rest. “I didn’t say you could stop, Mason.” The side of her face was pressed against the countertop, but he could see her eyes were closed.

His eyebrows furrowed as he stared at her. “Boss?” he questioned, unsure what she meant.

“I didn’t say you could stop fucking me.”

“But… I came?” It was a question, asked almost innocently; he wasn’t sure what she expected him to do from there. He’d already cum – was he supposed to keep fucking her even through all the sensitivity?

“Consider it your punishment for not bringing your collar, pup. Now, keep going.”

Maosn hesitated, glancing down at their bodies again before moving his hips – small movements, but still enough to make his body jolt as he ground his teeth together. It was so fucking uncomfortable; he’d just cum and she was making him fuck her still, which meant her walls kept rubbing against the head of his cock, causing overstimulation.

“Faster,” she ordered, breathlessly; he obeyed. He was a good boy, and if that meant going through one of the most uncomfortable fucking things ever just to prove it, then so be it. His hips were slapping against hers again, and he kept his eyes shut tightly as he tried to ignore the intense feeling of discomfort that was jolting through his nerves. Rough fingers dug into her hips, certainly enough to bruise; and maybe that was what told her to question him. One of her hands went back, grabbing onto his. “Color?” she asked. Mason stopped moving, his breathing ragged as he was almost trembling. He didn’t answer, though. “Color, Mason,” she demanded.

“R-Red,” he admitted, and she shifted so he slid out of her and she was standing straight up, facing him. His body jolted again at the feeling of slipping free from her cunt, but her hands cupping his jaw gave him something else to focus on. He opened his eyes, green eyes meeting her blue.

“Okay, pup. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed you like that.” She leaned in, giving him a gentle, loving kiss; one which he returned. “Come on. Let’s get dressed and I’ll take care of you. I always do, right?”

The Alpha nodded, turning his head to kiss her palm. “Sorry, Boss. Just ain’t never felt that uncomfortable before.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, pup.” She placed another soft kiss on his lips before her hands left his face. She reached down to his pants, pulling them up his hips for him and buttoning them, then putting his belt back together. She did the same with her own before leading him over to the desk and gently coaxing him to sit on it. “Do you want some water?” she asked. He nodded, and she was quick to retrieve a can and bring it back to him.

When he finished drinking and set the can down, Nora shifted so she was between his legs while he sat on the desk, then placed a gentle kiss on his painted forehead. “Good boy,” she quietly praised before wrapping her arms around him and holding him close. He pressed his face against her neck, his own arms going around her waist.

She always took care of him. Always.

---- 

Gage had run a couple errands before heading back to Fizztop Grille, but rather than take the lift, he went in through the building itself, stored some caps in a secret spot, and then took the elevator up to the top floor to grab an ice cold Nuka-Cola. He popped it open, taking a long swig as he moved toward the door that lead to where he’d last left the Overboss – in the Grille area.

But as soon as he started to open the door, two familiar voices hit his ears, and one of them was saying something he never thought he’d imagine hearing.

”I’m a bad boy.”

Was that… Mason?

”And why are you a bad boy?”

And the Overboss? Shit, he knew they were fucking, but what kind of fucking? This certainly brought on a lot of questions.

”Because I didn’t bring my collar.”

Oh, hell. The Alpha of the Pack had a fucking collar? This was too goddamn good.

”I suppose I could let it go this one time, but what happens if you forget it again?”

”I won’t, Boss. I promise.”

Gage opened the door just enough to try to see where they were at, but he only saw Nora’s legs on the other side of the counter, near the power armor station and right across from the desk. They must have been on the floor.

”Hmm. I’ll still need to punish you, though, but I think I’ll let you cum this time… Alright, pup. You can take me from behind. Help me up.”

They came into view then – Mason first as he stood, but then Nora as she was helped to her feet. The Alpha spun her around and started kissing on her neck while undoing her pants. There was a bit of dirty talk, and once the Alpha started fingering her, Gage realized he was hard as a fucking rock. He set the Nuka-Cola bottle down nearby, being sure to remain as quiet as he could, then went back to observing the scene in front of him. Yeah, he never would have imagined someone would get Mason to act like this, even in private.

The man rarely ever took orders from Colter, but he apparently enjoyed taking them from Nora.

Nora’s second-in-command wished he could feel just how wet she was, though; it was certainly something he’d thought about before. The Overboss was hot as hell – he wasn’t the only one who’d thought that, obviously – and he’d fantasized about bending her over that very same countertop plenty of times. And now, hearing her moans? They made him feel like he was in fucking heaven.

”Better hurry, Boss. Don’t want Gage to catch ya in such a compromisin’ position, do ya?”

”Fuck Gage.”

Oh, he wished.

The Overboss’ moans increased, and he could tell she was getting close; her husky voice growing louder as she pressed back into Mason’s hand. How many fingers did he have in her?

”Yeah, that’s right. Cum for me.”

When Nora came, he could see her shudder even with the distance between them, and it made his cock ache in his pants. God, he wished he could have her. She gave the Alpha more orders, and he followed them like a good little dog. It was surprising, but what was perhaps even more surprising was how eagerly she gave them. Sure, she was Overboss, and he’d seen her give orders left and right in the field; but he expected her to want to receive them in the bedroom. Maybe see it as a break from being in control everywhere else. But the woman was just all around dominant.

When Mason pressed into her, Gage wished he could see the view; he wanted to see her pink cunt glisten with her slick as she was filled and imagined him being the one to fill her. But instead, he was only able to see their fronts from their waists up. Maybe seeing her face as she came and moaned was good enough for now.

The pace quickened almost instantly, and Nora was pushing herself back against Mason’s thrusts, begging for more. Gage reached one hand down to press his palm against his trapped cock as it begged for attention inside his pants. He was starting to ache.

The sound of Mason swatting her ass rang loud, but her snapping tone rang louder, telling him not to strike her again. Of course, the dumb dog just obeyed and went back to fucking her, and soon enough, she was close to coming again.

”I’m gonna cum, Mason. Don’t stop.”

God, how he wished she was saying his name instead. Why did she have to go after the stupid fucking Alpha?

When Nora went flat against the countertop, Gage couldn’t stop himself from grabbing his cock through his pants, no longer content with just palming through them anymore. She screamed Mason’s name as she came, and eventually the Alpha followed suit. But when she told him to cum in her, Gage had to hold back a groan. Of course she enjoyed being filled. Of fucking course.. He could only imagine how she looked when filled with his cum as it dripped down her cunt and thighs.

One day.

When the Alpha came, Gage was almost relieved that it was over; but Nora told him to keep going, and both men were shocked. Hell, he started to feel bad for the poor guy, because that had to be as uncomfortable as fucking hell. Overstimulation was no fucking joke.

But when they stopped, and Nora asked about a color, then started soothing him, Gage took that moment to leave them be. He’d seen all he needed to – well, way more than he needed to, but still – and right now he had to let it mull around in his head for a bit before deciding how to use the information he’d discovered.

At this point, Gage knew a few things:

One, Mason had a collar.

Two, Mason enjoyed being dommed by the Overboss.

And three, Nora was sexy as fucking hell when barking orders in the bedroom.

Chapter Text

“So, what are we walkin’ into, exactly?” Mason asked, combat shotgun slung over his shoulder. It was modified to hell and back, and Nora almost admired her handiwork – despite the Alpha clearly not being fond of her having called his toy ‘weak’ and ‘useless’ in the state he originally had it in.

“A bunch of robots guarding the place, apparently,” she answered as they came upon a handful of dead bodies with scattered bot remains around them. She took a few moments to loot each one of ammo, junk, and components, shoving the junk and components in the bag on Mason’s back. He grumbled, clearly not happy about being forced to carry one when he’d originally intended just to bring his shotgun and shells – as if that was even a smart idea. When she bent over the last bot to grab a gear from inside it, a large hand slapped against her ass, echoing off the walls close to them.

Nora yelped from surprise stood, shooting a glare at the Alpha behind her who was now innocently looking at a fever blossom in front of him as if he hadn’t just swatted her ass, but was instead fiddling with a piece of the plant the entire time. “Really, Mason?” she asked, putting her hands on her hips.

Green eyes turned to her, innocent, false confusion in the irises. “What?”

Nora couldn’t help the smile that spread across her lips, but she rolled her eyes and turned back around, heading to the entrance of the park. “Come on, ya big goof.”

Almost as soon as they walked beneath the archway of the Galactic Zone, they were attacked by different types of robots – eyebots, Mr. Handy’s that spit some type of brown substance that she could have sworn was far too acidic to be normal, protections, and some things called Nukatrons that looked like vending machines and shot glowing blue liquid which exploded on impact. It was ridiculous and the vaultie already hated the zone even though they’d literally just walked in.

Thankfully, Mason was efficient with his combat shotgun, taking cover when necessary and hitting most of his targets when they were close enough, though the modifications surely helped even if he would never admit it. Nora took care of the enemies that were further away with her plasma rifle, the two seeming to have a natural flow with contrasting guns that worked well together. They took down what felt like bot after bot, traversing the zone, searching for what Nora had been told was called ‘Starport Nuka,’ where the main power output was for the park.

It didn’t make much sense to her, really; to put a power output in one of the zones where guests would be at. It seemed dangerous – then again, prewar corporations were never really known for being safe, were they? She’d seen that little fact plenty of times prewar inside and outside the courtroom.

“What’s your count?” Nora asked as they rounded the corner of a few game stalls, snatching some of the magnets that dangled from strings and stuffing them in her bag.

“Thirty-two. You?”

Her eyes looked over to him, noticing how he wore sweat like a new layer of skin. “Forty-five.”

“Nah, don’t believe it. You’re cheatin’.”

“You’re just mad you brought a short-range gun to a long-range fight, pup. Don’t be jealous I’m smarter.”

“And I’m stronger. I’m the Alpha for a reason,” he grumbled.

“Yeah, and I’m your Alpha for a reason,” she retorted.

Mason grew quiet, but the silence only lasted a couple seconds before they were shooting at another couple robots.

“Thirty-four.”

---- 

Starport Nuka was… not what she expected. The intel she’d received on the Galactic Zone told her this would be a power output station, but instead it just seemed to be a place that displayed military technology or something. A blue suit of power armor was locked behind a large display case in the center of the room and even some weapons and other goodies were scattered here and there. A huge group of computers with noticeable rectangular pieces missing covered the back wall, one of the pieces bright red and on the floor, clutched in the hand of a dead body.

Nora picked it up, examining it before moving over to the computer screen on one of the terminals and tapping on the keyboard a few times. She read one of the journals, pursing her lips once it was revealed this was not, in fact, the main power output for the park.

Figures. Faulty intel.

“Well, bad news,” she grumbled, tapping a couple more times as she went through another journal entry. Mason came up behind her as she was bent forward to read the screen, his body pressing against her back while his arms wrapped around her middle, holding himself tightly against her.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“This isn’t a power output station, it’s something to do with a military museum. I think these things,” she tapped on the star core with her nail, the sound just a gentle click, “Are related to the empty slots in here and might activate that display case with the power armor.”

“Mm.” Mason began kissing the back of her neck while she was working on the computer, completely ignoring him, even as he was pressing his hips against her ass.

“That would be a nice set of power armor to have, honestly. It looks like an X-01 series, which is some pretty serious shit.” The Alpha’s hands slid down to unbutton her pants, but she still seemed to be ignoring him, if she even realized what he was doing. “I think if we find all of the star cores – or maybe just enough – we can open it.”

Her zipper was pushed down.

“And it looks like we can find where most of the cores are at, or at least get a general idea of their locations, from this terminal.”

“Mhm,” Mason agreed lazily, grinding himself against her after shoving her pants down to mid-thigh.

“Most of them look like they’re in the Galactic Zone, thankfully. I should be able to download this data to my pip-boy so we can see how many we pick up in each place.”

“Yeah,” he mumbled against the back of her neck, his own pants coming undone and being pushed down, as well.

“Oh! It looks like we can also turn off some of the defenses from here once we get enough star cores. Maybe make those robots docile and even fight for us. That’d be pretty handy, especially if we can fix them up. It’ll be like extra defenses.”

“Yeah, for sure.” Her underwear was pushed down to meet her pants, baring herself to him.

---- 

“Are you even listeni—Mason!” his name came out as a gasp when he rubbed the length of his cock against her slit. She was surprised, and the sound brought a grin to his face against the back of her neck. When the hell had he gotten his pants down? When the hell had he gotten her pants down?

“Mm, c’mon, Boss. Just a quickie. I’m horny,” he said against her neck before placing soft kisses to her skin, the vibration rumbling into her back and making her shudder.

“You’re always horny, pup. What are we gonna do if a robot walks in here, guns blazing blue liquid, and you’re too busy with your dick buried in me?”

“Guess I’ll die happy. That’s a fine way to go, far as I’m concerned.”

Nora rolled her eyes but pushed her ass back against him, letting his length rub against her lower lips. She could feel him grin against the back of her neck again as his hand slipped between her legs palm brushing her clit as he dipped a finger into her. The last thing she needed was to be sore from the sudden stretch while fighting a group of hostile robots.

The second finger was soon to follow, his hand pulling back and pushing forward to thrust them in and out, stretching her before a third slipped in. She moaned softly, pushing her hips down against his fingers and tipping her head forward at the sensation of him touching her while danger lurked around every corner.

“Okay,” she whispered, giving him the go-ahead. He didn’t finger her for long or make her cum, but even a small amount of preparation was better than nothing – and they needed to be quick. Mason dragged his tongue along the back of her neck, just along the top of her spine, before positioning his cock against her and slowly pushing in. The burning sensation wasn’t as bad as it would have been if he hadn’t fingered her for that short amount of time, but it was still intense. The Overboss hissed with a sharp inhale through her teeth, and once he hilted, his hand slid around once again to rub circles on her clit to help her relax.

Mason’s lips went to her ear, teeth nipping at the lobe. “Always ready to take my cock, aren’t ya, Boss?” he growled. She shuddered against him, his voice always doing such naughty things to her; the large hand that wasn’t between her legs reached up to palm her breast but was met with the barrier of her combat armor. He growled with frustration, but instead just let that hand slide to her hip instead. “You want me to make you cum before I fuck you? It’ll help.” he whispered, placing a gentle kiss to her neck.

Nora nodded, biting her lower lip. “Yeah, make me cum, pup.”

The Alpha then slid his arms around her waist and picked her up, forcing a gasp from her as he held her tightly to his chest and turned – never pulling out of her – and moved closer to the railing that had been behind them. He placed her on her feet near it, giving her something sturdier and easier to grab onto than the computers, as well as allowing them to see their surroundings, just in case. The last thing they needed was an enemy sneaking up on them while they were fucking; at least they could somewhat react with their pants down if they saw it first.

---- 

His fingers returned to her clit and circled it fast as she wrapped her own fingers around the metal in front of her, leaning forward just slightly so her ass was sticking out more, offered to him. She seemed to be getting close already, he could tell – he knew her body well by now; knew how to get her off quickly. He knew how it worked, what it craved, what she loved.

Her back arched as she moaned fairly loud, and his hand that was near her stomach immediately shot up and wrapped its palm around her mouth, muffling her moan. She gasped through her nose, reaching up to grab his wrist as if she were going to protest – and he was surprised she didn’t elbow him in the ribs or raise her hand to tell him to stop – but she let him keep it there; an act so deliciously submissive he had to refrain from coming inside her right then.

When she came around him, undoubtedly helped by the hand around her mouth, she let out a muffled moan, and he groaned lowly against her clothed shoulder at the feel of her cunt growing even tighter. Nora pushed her hips back against him, and that was his cue that he was allowed to move. Mason removed the hand from her clit and pressed it to her lower back, the other remaining over her mouth as he made slow thrusts at first, gradually speeding up until he was pounding into her like they both always craved – never gentle, always rough, because it grounded them to this world and to each other.

Her moans remained muffled as he sought his release, knowing they couldn’t spend too long playing around for fear that someone or something might hear them. Or, rather, hear her.

But he’d be a liar if he said keeping her quiet with his hand over her mouth wasn’t goddam exciting. He’d done this before with other women who enjoyed a thrill in the bedroom – nothing terribly heavy – but never with Nora; and the fact he had more control over her in that short moment than ever before was new and exciting and he was greedily lapping it up like a dehydrated mutt on a hot summer day.

But she gave him the control; he never took it.

“Gonna cum, Boss. Want me in you?” he asked, not wanting to remove his hand from her mouth because he knew she’d be loud. She always was; and it didn’t help that it was just too fucking hot not to keep her quiet that way.

The Overboss nodded her head, pushing her hips back against him with each thrust so their bodies smacked together roughly, the sound almost echoing in the chamber they were in. It helped push him to the edge before he toppled over it and came in her, burying himself as deep as he could go. She moaned against his hand, her legs trembling but her cunt not having tightened around him – she was close but hadn’t tipped over into her second orgasm yet.

That wouldn’t do.

With heavy, panting breaths, Mason slipped out of her, noting how she jolted at the sensation. He dropped to his knees behind her, his hand leaving her mouth and instead both of them going to the lower part of her ass cheeks as she bent over more, offering herself to him, yet another submissive act he didn’t fully understand but it still sent heat into his loins. He spread her wide and leaned in, burying his mouth in her cunt, tongue flicking out against her clit to bring her over that edge he knew she so desperately craved – and it only took a few moments to get her there. When she came, her own hand had clasped over her mouth to keep her from being loud and drawing attention to them.

And goddamn if that didn’t make his ego swell.

And his cock, of course. Again.

Mason dragged his tongue up her cunt, licking his own cum from her – something he never did unless told to because he never actually enjoyed tasting himself; but it was primal, and she was submissive, and he couldn’t fucking help but give into that animalistic nature. Once she was clean, he stood back up and pulled her pants and underwear up for her, buttoning and zipping the road leathers back into place. “Let’s get back to it, yeah?”

Nora nodded again, still riding that second orgasm high. “Y-yeah.”

---- 

They’d cleaned out most of the buildings and locations – Mason’s bag heavy as fuck at this point, but he refused to complain because he was a man and he wasn’t about to show weakness. The duo swept through the Starlight Interstellar Theater, which was something she described as a place where people would go watch movies; the RobCo Battlezone, something he figured was similar to the fighting cage back in the amphitheater, only strictly for robots; Spacewalk, which was some sort of tunnel; and Splashdown, a small pool that had statues of rockets in it. And by the time they reached Vault-Tec: Among the Stars, he was trailing behind Nora.

But he found her standing outside the double doors, staring at them silently, as if she were afraid to go in.

“Boss?” His voice was quiet; concerned.

“Huh?” Her eyes looked over to him before back at the doors and she shook her head. “Sorry, I just…” but she stopped, cutting herself off as her eyebrows furrowed. Another shake of the head. “Nevermind. Come on.”

The place was… fucked up, to say the least. A sort of vault that was supposed to advertise building them on other planets or something? The fuck did any of that even mean? He’d heard of vaults that were underground, housing people since before the war, but this was just totally new and foreign to him. And when they entered the actual vault area and the shooting stars began moving along the walls with some voice sounding out through the intercom above them, Nora froze. Mason furrowed his brows before moving behind her and placing one hand on her hip. “Boss, talk to me,” he said gently.

She shook her head again, denying him access to whatever it was she was feeling. “I’m okay. Let’s go,” she mumbled before pushing herself forward, away from him, building a wall between them he wasn’t sure how to break down or even if he should. He knew better than to press it again at that moment, but it still hurt how she shut him out. If she kept it up, though, he’d have no choice than to take a sledgehammer to it.

They went further into the building, searching through drawers, cabinets, every hidden place they could stick their greedy fingers into – more junk getting stuffed into his bag until it was weighing him down and he was sure it weighed more than he did. Nora searched computer terminals, using hacking skills he had no idea she possessed, and seemed horrified at some of the things she discovered. The people in this advertisement vault were still experimenting on each other, and he could see the anger in her eyes at the revelation. Really, the idea of it all didn’t bother him too much – hell, he had fucking slaves, so how did experimenting on unwilling participants even really differ from that?

And he thought Nora felt the same way, considering she had no problem with any of the gangs keeping slaves with fucking bomb collars around their necks and had even laughed at one before when they’d asked for water. But something was different in her now – she was stiff, distant; something was wrong with her and she wouldn’t tell him what. Was she actually bothered by this?

They pushed on, and the more information they found out, the worse it got for her. Mason even started feeling woozy – lightheaded, vision blurry; he was getting a goddamn migraine. Of course, it was revealed that was yet another experiment. Surprise, surprise.

They picked up more star cores along the way, the Overboss comparing the number to the data she’d downloaded to her pip-boy until she was satisfied they’d collected them all from the building. She was determined to get that power armor; not that he could blame her.

By the time they reached the end of the tour, Nora was nearly hyperventilating and racing for the exit, trying to escape the building. Her nails clawed at the door, fingers seeming unable to actually open it as if she’d forgotten how it worked. The Alpha came up behind her, gently placing a hand on her hip as he did the work for her and unlatched the barrier that separated her from the outside, sliding the door open. Sunlight flooded in and warmed their skin before she raced out.

Of course, he chased after her, because he’d follow this woman to the ends of the fuckin’ earth.

Nora only made it about ten feet from the door before she fell to the ground; gasping, dry heaving, tears streaking down her face as she showed herself in the most vulnerable position he’d ever seen her. The once strong, fearless woman was now on her hands and knees, sobbing, and Mason just… didn’t know what to do. He stood there, reaching one hand up to rub at the back of his neck. Part of him was glad he was there to witness this and not one of the other gang leaders, because the weakness she was displaying would have been like placing a target on her back and eagerly handing them a hatchet to bury straight in her at point-blank range.

“They just…” the words were choked, and the Alpha took that moment to crouch beside her, a large hand gently resting on her spine. Maybe he could comfort her the same way she comforted him after an intense session in the bedroom. He at least had to try. “They weren’t content on just… locking us up underground.”

Mason had questions; so many questions. And he wanted to ask all of them right there – she’d never talked about being in a vault before. Hell, now that he thought about it, she never talked about her past at all; he knew nothing about where she came from, who she was before Nuka-World… and now that he thought about it, he didn’t even know anything about her at all. Their relationship was based entirely on sex and the power she held over him. Maybe that was all it would ever be.

“They wanted to colonize other planets and lock people up there, too. Experiment on them. Make them into little pet projects just like they made my—” she stopped before the word came out, but the Alpha had a feeling he knew what she’d meant to say. He’d seen the stretch marks on her belly; those were all too familiar to him. He didn’t have any cubs of his own – none that he knew of, at least – but he’d seen plenty of women in the Pack give birth and the aftermath of what it did to their bodies. Stretch marks and all.

Nora shook her head, sobbing again as her hands clenched into fists on the hard ground, gravel and dirt sticking to her fingers and beneath her nails, leaving red scratches along her tender flesh; there was no doubt her palms were cut open. Mason slowly stroked his hand up and down her spine, still unsure what to do with this vulnerable woman who was opening herself up in front of him.

He never did well with vulnerable women. He always broke them.

“C’mon, Nora,” he whispered, his free hand going to her shoulder to pull her to her knees. She flinched from the new touch, and part of him regretted the action, but he didn’t pull away. He wanted to remain confident for her – a rock she could lean on in her time of trouble. Maybe that would help. “Let’s go back to that port place, alright? We can take a break there and cool down from the heat before we finish clearing the rest of the zone.”

The Overboss hesitated, but nodded, giving in to his demands – another submissive action he couldn’t wrap his head around. She went to stand, but Mason wasn’t about to let her travel on such shaky legs. When she was on her knees, he shifted and reached his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his chest as he stood to his full height. She instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his shoulders, burying her face in the crook of his neck as she continued to sob – quieter this time. Her body weight and bag on his front balanced out with the heavy weight of the bag on his back, making it hard to hold her and both their bags at once, but he wasn’t going to let her see that weakness in him. He needed to help her.

He carried her like that back to Starport Nuka, just daring one of those fuckin’ robots to try and mess with him and his mate.

Yeah, if he’d learned anything from how she did aftercare, he knew he had to make her feel better. Let her know everything was alright; that she was safe. And that he would take care of her no matter what.

Chapter Text

Mason had carried her back to Starport Nuka without any resistance from the robots, most of them having been cleared out when he and the Overboss looted the place throughout the day. The sun was doomed to set within the next hour and he knew they could make it back to Fizztop Grille before nightfall since it wasn’t that far away, but he didn’t think she’d want to be seen like this – especially not by a group of raiders.

He couldn’t blame her for that, really. If they saw how weak she looked right now, or if they even merely caught a whiff of perceived weakness on her, they’d pounce and go for the throat.

And if she were anyone else, he would have, too.

But she was Nora, the Overboss; a woman he’d follow to the ends of the earth and back again if it meant she’d be happy, because at this point, Mason wasn’t sure he lived to do anything except make her happy. It was all he wanted to do.

When they entered Starport Nuka, he carried her over to the terminals and up the two steps, setting her down gently in the red swivel chair. She’d dropped her bag by the door, the relief of the weight having made him grunt and almost topple backward since the sudden change in threw him off balance. But he’d steadied himself, and after he set her in the chair, he went back to the entrance of the port and slid the glass door shut to lock them inside.

They’d be safe in here for the night.

He set his bag down beside hers, rolling his shoulders to get the feeling back in them since he’d carried well over a few hundred pounds on his back and chest. He’d jokingly blame her for making him carry all that junk later and maybe convince her to give him a massage since his shoulders would most likely hurt for the next week or two.

When he turned around to walk back to her, Mason almost jumped out of his skin to find the vault dweller right behind him, staring up at him with those blue eyes. The woman wasn’t usually so quiet – she was fairly clumsy, really, and that was saying something coming from someone as big and noisy as Mason – so how she’d managed to sneak up on him so easily was alarming and slightly concerning.

But she wrapped her arms around his middle and buried her face in his chest, the tears on her cheeks soaking into his top so he felt them against his skin through the fabric. He could only respond by wrapping his arms around her in return. “You wanna lay down, Boss?” he asked.

Nora shook her head and he just placed a gentle, loving kiss atop it. “We should stay in here for the night, at least. Don’t gotta sleep if you don’t want, but without power, it’s hard to see out there. Let’s just sit and relax, alright?” He kept his voice quiet and calm, speaking into her ear with that familiar Boston accent she admitted she loved so much – something she said she didn’t hear enough of anymore.

The Overboss nodded gently against him but didn’t move, and he took that opportunity to lean down and lift her up again, cradling her against his chest just like he had the last time with her legs wrapped around his waist and arms around his shoulders. Mason carried her to the terminals again, but this time he didn’t put her in the chair; instead, he coaxed her legs to unwrap from him as he lowered himself to sit on the floor, leaning back against the machines behind him and keeping her against his chest and in his lap.

He was going to take care of her no matter what.

A hand went up to gently and lovingly stroke her hair, threading through the red locks that were only a few shades darker than his own and flopped onto one side of her head, leaving the other shaved bare. The questions continued to buzz in his head, but he didn’t speak, didn’t ask them. He just listened to her pulse as his ear was pressed against her throat, and he counted the number of breaths she took each minute; one hand stroking her hair, the other her back. Comforting. Loving.

Loving.

“I’m from a vault,” she whispered. He didn’t speak, letting her finish without interruption. “I was… brought into the vault with my husband, Nate, and my baby, Shaun. A Vault-Tec salesman showed up at our house and signed us up for a nearby vault – Vault 111 – and almost right after he left, the TV started talking about bombs being dropped, and then the sirens sounded. We barely made it to the vault in time when the bombs fell. I… I saw the mushroom cloud when it hit Boston and everything.”

Wait… was she saying she was prewar? Mason opened his mouth to ask for clarification but thought better and snapped it shut. Not the time. Not the time. Let her finish.

“We thought we were safe, but Vault-Tec lied to us. They froze us instead like we were just fucking popsicles. I was in there for 210 years.”

It was starting to make a little more sense now. She didn’t want to go into the building because of the name, and the way the entrance of the vault inside it looked must have been all too familiar. And then there were the experiments. While he didn’t fully understand how she felt or what she went through, he certainly understood the hesitation of going someplace that might trigger horrible memories better off forgotten.

“Someone woke us up and they took Shaun and…” she didn’t finish her sentence, but he guessed what she’d say. Nora traveled the wasteland alone; it was why she ended up in the Gauntlet, knowing what she was getting herself into and yet choosing to show up anyway. And it was why she was battle-hardened, fierce, filled with anger, and had little hope for the future.

He knew it well because that was him, too.

Mason felt her sobbing softly against him again, that vulnerability rolling off her like water vapor. If he could free her from the confines of her own guilt and self-hatred, he would; he would take her pain away in a heartbeat.

The Overboss buried her face against his shoulder and he felt her tears trail down his skin. He wanted to let her cry; to let her get it out, because he knew she had to have been bottling that shit up since she fled the vault – but he also wanted her to know he was there. He was there for her. Gently pulling away, she almost clawed at him so she could feel him close again, as if the mere heat of his chest against hers was comforting. But he didn’t go far, only pulling back enough to look at her face – red skin, snotty nose, puffy eyes. She tried to hide it, embarrassed, knowing and despising the weakness she portrayed, but he just put a hand to her jaw and gently turned her head to look at him.

Green eyes met blue as a calloused thumb softly wiped her cheeks free from tears over and over again even as more fell. He could tell his careful actions were making her cry more; but the more she cried, the more he wanted to keep wiping the result away. It was a never-ending cycle.

“You’re the only good thing to happen to me since…” Nora’s voice trailed off; she spoke softly, looking down to his chest, her fingers playing with the hem of his top. It wasn’t sexual at all, more nervous than anything, and it only brought a smile to his lips. A small comfort in a world of unease.

Both hands cupped her jaw while he leaned in, placing a gentle and loving kiss to her lips; and when it broke, they kept their foreheads pressed together, eyes closed. He refused to let her go, refused to let her fight this battle on her own – and she seemed to know he wasn’t going anywhere, because her soft question wasn’t just for her, it was for both of them.

“Am I gonna be okay?”

It was filled with hopelessness and fear; he wanted her to know she would, in fact, be okay. He would damn well make sure of it. “Yeah, kitten. You’re gonna be okay.”

---- 

The exhaustion Nora felt the night before had taken over her fairly quickly, knocking her out and into a deep sleep in Mason’s arms as he was leaned back against the terminals, her face buried in the crook of his neck while they slept. She awoke to find him still asleep, head tipped back against the machines behind him and mouth open just slightly as a soft snore escaped his nose. Nate was a snorer, as well, but his snores were always heavy and loud and kept her awake. Mason’s, however, were soft and quiet. Cute, even.

When she leaned back, the Alpha didn’t stir, and she took that opportunity to study his peaceful face. The paint on his skin was smeared so the colors no longer matched the intended design but were either mixed together to make a new color or had rubbed off to reveal the soft skin below. She really wished he didn’t wear the paint because she knew it broke his skin out if he left it on for too long, but he was also gorgeous beneath it, too.

But as peaceful as he was, she couldn’t let it last long. Dawn had come and went and her pip-boy said it was about 9am, which meant they needed to finish clearing the zone, send up the flag, and return home and to the safety and familiarity of Nuka-Town.

The vaultie shifted her body and leaned in to press gentle kisses to his throat, nipping the skin occasionally before she kissed up to just below his right ear, then bit down. The action was enough to stir him awake, a soft groan escaping him as he just tipped his head to the side to bare himself to her – submitting. Maybe he didn’t even realize he did it anymore.

She sucked the skin between her teeth, her hand sliding up to the other side of his neck to press him closer as she made a soft noise against him. Strong arms wrapped around her, and only then did she release his neck before placing a trail of kisses from the bite mark, up his jaw, and to his lips. They kissed gently, per usual; the soft action always intimate but just short of something shared between two people who knew they’d spend the rest of their lives together – because if there was one thing Nora and Mason didn’t know in this fucked up world, it was what their relationship even was outside of just existing, dom and sub, Overboss and Alpha.

But she was alright with that for now.

He pulled her into his lap, and Nora let him, because the last thing she cared about at the moment was denying him or being the boss. After last night, she just wanted to feel something – she wanted to feel him.

And if he was the last thing she felt in this god forsaken world, that was just fine with her.

Their kisses remained slow and gentle, never hurried; and even as his hands slid over her body, he was delicate in his touch, savoring every part of her as if he’d either never touched her before or would never get the chance to again, or both. She could tell he was still waking up, but she’d given him a nice wakeup call, and he’d never complain about that.

Mason’s hands gently pushed her jacket off, sliding her shoulders free from its confines and tossing it to the side, then pulling her tanktop above her head – only breaking the kiss to slip it off. She did the same with his yao guai necklace and top, their clothes being thrown in the same direction but undoubtedly landing in completely different spots.

He didn’t try for her bra yet, but instead let rough, calloused hands run over her soft, prewar skin; taking in every curvy inch he could reach. They went up her sides, down her back, over her stomach, and then to her back once again before a flick of his fingers undid her bra – a skill he’d become so proficient at. The cloth was slid down her arms and tossed to the side just like everything else.

Small hands slid between them, undoing Mason’s belt and pants before she tried to force them down his hips without breaking the kiss – a feat that proved unsuccessful. Their lips broke only long enough for the rest of his clothes to disappear, leaving him naked on the metal ground. He worked her leathers quickly after, tossing them to the side as well before gently coaxing her into his lap.

The Alpha dipped one hand between their bodies, sliding his fingers along her slit, but she batted it away before grasping his hard cock, giving it a few strokes, and lining him up with her entrance. A questioning grunt was made against her lips, as if asking if she were sure she wanted to take him without preparation, and she just smiled into it. Slowly, she slid down onto him, easing him in as she let the burning sensation fill her almost as much as his cock did.

Nora moaned against his mouth, and after a few seconds of easing, she finally took him to the base, their hips flush as she sat in his lap. She was panting against him, sweat already on her forehead from the burning and pressure between her legs – but damn it felt good. And not in the same way as it did when he buried himself in her without stretching her every other time; no, this was something new. A different kind of good.

Mason wrapped his arms around her body, holding her close to him while she wrapped her own around his neck, the kiss deepening but remaining slow and steady; the complete opposite of their heartbeats.

This entire situation was different than usual. It was slow. Sensual. Intimate.

They’d shared intimate moments before, sure, but not like this. Kisses were always gentle and loving between them, but sex was always rough and dominating. But now? She didn’t know how to explain it, though she did know it was exactly what she needed.

He lowered one hand between her thighs, rubbing his thumb slowly in circles on her clit to help ease the sensation between her legs. She sighed softly against him, pressing herself closer to his chest while his other arm remained wrapped around her middle and held her tightly.

It was easy to make her cum around his cock, and fairly quick; her cunt pulsing around the thick length that was buried to the hilt inside her. She moaned against his lips, her chest pushing into him more as her back arched.

As soon as she came down from that high, her body slowly began rocking back and forth, grinding her clit against his groin. She could feel his shaft rubbing against that bundle of nerves inside her, as well, but just barely – not enough to make her cum yet, thankfully. She wanted this moment between them to last forever.

The kiss was broken, and their sweaty foreheads rested together, eyes open, staring at one another. One of her hands went to his chest to press a flat palm against it gently, the other to his neck to cup the spot and run her thumb over his ear. Both leaders were panting, mouths slightly open, blue eyes staring into green and green into blue, bodies flush together and moving slowly as they drew out the moment of intimacy between them.

His thumb had stopped rubbing her clit after she became too sensitive and instead moved to her thigh to hold her gently, his other arm still wrapped around her middle. Their rocking bodies was enough to move him in and out, but it was nothing like he was used to – and she wondered if it was even doing anything for him. But if the look in his eyes was anything to go by, then he was loving every minute of it just as much as she was.

“Mason,” she whispered, closing her eyes as she shifted the way her hips rocked, but still didn’t speed up the pace. He hadn’t said anything to her yet, and the Alpha was usually one for dirty talk. She loved the sound of his voice almost as much as he loved the sound of his voice, but there was something sensual about the silence in the moment they were sharing.

Well, silence not including his soft moans and when he whispered her name, which made her shudder.

Neither of them warned of their orgasms as they approached, both knowing the other’s body well enough to be able to tell when they were close; and so when Nora came around him, Mason was quick to follow, the two softly moaning onto each other’s lips as she kept rocking her hips against his, stretching out their orgasms as long as she could.

Even when her hips stopped, she remained on top of him, never letting him slip out – if it was going to happen, he’d have to either move her himself or go soft enough to slip out naturally, because she wanted him to stay inside her forever. Their foreheads were still pressed against one another as they panted, trying to breathe but their exhales blowing into each other’s faces made that attempt harder than they realized. They didn’t break eye contact, instead taking in the sight of the other in such an intimate post-orgasm high.

The world was alright for the moment.

It took some time to clean up, get dressed, plug in the star cores they’d found so far, and hoist the flag, but once they’d done everything, they prepared to leave. Nora wished they could escape this damned theme park, walk off into the sunset, maybe go settle somewhere and just live out their days as Nora and Mason rather than Overboss and Alpha. But that was unrealistic, so instead, she settled for walking back to Nuka-Town, hand-in-hand with her mate; Overboss and Alpha, dom and sub, kitten and pup.

Chapter Text

“Wakey, wakey.”

The familiar voice rang in Nora’s ears like a distorted alarm clock, making her grimace as she suddenly became aware of the throbbing pain in her head. The Overboss groaned loudly, protesting the person who was trying to wake her like a child who only wanted another five minutes of sleep before school. But a hand grasped her chin aggressively and forced her head up, denying her the option of drifting off again.

“Wake up, Overboss,” the voice beckoned.

Nora groaned again but opened her eyes, her blurry gaze trying to settle on the figure in front of her. She couldn’t make out who it was, however. “Mason?” she questioned, the name slurring from her lips; but she was answered with a high-pitched, feminine laugh.

“Oh, no. You’re not that lucky, sweetheart.” After blinking a few more times, her groggy eyes were finally able to determine who had woken her, and Nora felt her stomach drop. “There we go,” Mags said, releasing Nora’s chin. The Overboss was barely able to hold her head up as it felt heavy like she’d added thirty pounds to it. “How are you feeling, huh?” the blonde woman asked. Nora ached all over; she could feel that her face was swollen in some areas, and it felt like her brain was pulsing in her skull. But from the look on Mags’ face, the other woman knew the answer.

“What happened?” Nora rasped.

“Oh, you know. Just some mutiny.”

Confusion spread across the vaultie’s face like wildfire as she tried to think. A mutiny? The last thing she even remembered was walking back to Nuka-Town with Mason, and then… a thud right before the Alpha collapsed to the ground, and another when everything went black.

Nora shook her head and tried to move her arms, but the clinking of chains and the lack of her ability to actually move them revealed they were stuck above her head with her back against the wall. “Where’s Mason?” she asked, her voice a little more alert despite the words still being slurred.

“Oh, don’t worry, he’s fine. A little tied up, as I’m sure you’ve guessed; but fine, regardless. Well, I should say very fine, if you know what I mean.”

“Shit, Mags,” the Overboss groaned, her head rolling from side to side just slightly from the pain in her neck, “What did you do?”

The blonde allowed a wide grin to cross her face, the threat in it sending a sinking feeling into Nora’s gut as she leaned in. “I just took some caps, honey. I was offered a pretty hefty sum and, well, you know me. I love caps.” It made sense, really. If there was anyone who would turn on her, it would be Mags – Mason was her lover and would do anything for her, and Nisha was a close friend. But Mags? Well, the two women often butted heads and that never made the Black twins happy.

“Who?” she asked, demanding to know the name of the one who’d betrayed her.

“Oh, don’t worry about that, you’ll find out soon enough.” Mags stood up, straightening out her outfit. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a sexy redhead to play with.”

Nora wanted to do a lot of things right then – escape, growl, throw up, find Mason, scream, kill everything in sight; but the one thing she wanted to do the most was tear Mags’ heart out and make her fucking eat it. Maybe Nisha was rubbing off on her.

When the blonde woman left, Nora struggled against the chains around her wrists, but they were far too tight, and she was much too tired and weak to make any progress with escaping the bind. She sighed heavily with defeat, trying to contain her emotions since she was still raw from the Galactic Zone; but the attempt became nearly impossible when she heard a familiar voice through the thin walls.

“The fuck you doin’?”

“Relax, Alpha. I just want to play.”

“Get the fuck off me, Mags.”

“Aw, what’s wrong? You don’t like it when I touch you anymore?” Nora felt her stomach drop. “I guess you prefer women who can collar you now, huh? I can get a muzzle, if you want. Maybe slap you around a little.”

There was a subtle thump before Mason’s raised voice rang out again. “I said get the fuck off me!”

Immediately, Mags was yelling back, though her voice was slightly more muffled from another barrier other than the wall. “God damnit, Mason. You’ll fucking regret that. You’d better hope it’s not broken.”

The Overboss listened to Mags’ boots rush down the hall and she couldn’t help the slight smirk that crossed her face.

Good boy.

---- 

Nora wasn’t sure how long she’d been locked in the Parlor bathroom by the time its door creaked open again, the sound almost echoing in the small room and scaring her awake. But when a familiar face peeked in, she almost cried from joy. A slender body slipped into the room before shutting the wooden barrier again, and the Overboss couldn’t help but feel hope in her chest that she and Mason might actually make it out alive.

“Gage,” she croaked, her eyes welling with tears.

“Hey, Boss,” he whispered with that familiar southern drawl. His voice was low as he spoke and he moved over to her, gently cupping her face in his rough hands. She’d never felt so goddamn glad to see him in her life. Her second-in-command leaned forward, resting his forehead against hers, an intimate action that she couldn’t help but devour – how many days had it been since she’d even seen someone who didn’t want her dead or injured?

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you,” he admitted quietly, stroking the rough pads on his thumbs over her cheekbones. “You didn’t think I’d just abandon you, did ya?”

Nora smiled with relief and a few tears slipped over her lower lids, but Gage just wiped them away with his thumbs each time. “No, I didn’t. I’m just really happy you came.”

“Of course I came for you, Boss. I’d never leave you behind.”

When his thumb came up to start stroking her cheek over again, she turned into it and closed her eyes, sighing at the gentle touch; relishing in it. Her face was still swollen from getting hit however long ago but feeling actual human contact was just a goddamn relief she didn’t even care about the pain. “You gotta get me out of here, Gage.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I will, Boss. Don’t you worry. I’ll get you out real soon.”

Though her eyes remained closed, she furrowed her brow, allowing confusion to wash over her face. “Soon?” she repeated questioningly.

“I can’t just yet. But I will soon, I promise.”

“But… why not?” Her voice was beginning to tremble like a child’s since she was still struggling to control the emotions she’d experienced before; they were ready to pour out of her like a broken dam.

“Please, Gage. Please.” Nora’s voice cracked as she spoke – as she begged her second-in-command to break her out of her prison. Sympathy filled behind his irises and he leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss to her forehead; but when he pulled away, her blue eyes were open and she was looking up at him, pleading again. “You gotta help us.”

The moment she said ‘us,’ however, something in his face changed. His thumbs stopped rubbing her cheeks and his jaw tensed – he pulled back from her completely to let his arms fall at his side. “Now, why you gotta go and mention him, huh?”

Nora’s eyebrows furrowed again as she studied his face. “Wh-what do you mean?” she asked.

“I mean, all this was for us and yet you still pick him?”

“Wait… oh, god. Gage, please don’t tell me this was your doing?”

Gage sighed and reached a hand up to run thick fingers through his mohawk. “Look, Boss. I ain’t gonna hurt ya; that’s not me. But you’ll make this a lot easier if you just let him go, alright?” Nora opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out; she snapped her jaw shut instead. “Besides, Mags wants a new plaything and, well, you know how it is. She’s had her eye on Mason for a while now.” His hazel eye looked her up and down before he turned and started walking toward the door. “Let’s just say you’ll wanna be out of here before she starts playing, but the only way that’s happening is if you come with me.”

Chapter Text

The pain in Nora’s face had decreased significantly overnight thanks to Gage having returned for the sole purpose of giving her a stimpack; he seemed to recognize she was in enough pain and wanted to reduce it. She could feel the swelling was gone, though it was obvious there were still bruises on her flesh – even if they were most likely a lighter purple with yellow around the edges rather than a much darker shade. Still, she was happy to take the stimpack, the medicine providing relief to not just her face, but the pain in her head and shoulders, too.

But the vaultie knew Mason wasn’t so lucky. She’d listened to his heavy breathing; he was wheezing, as if he was having trouble getting air into his lungs. People would peek in every hour to check on her, then do the same with him, but none ever gave her a stimpack until Gage did so on his own volition – so it was safe to assume Mason didn’t receive one at all.

Just like yesterday, though, Gage returned, slipping into the room and gently shutting the door behind him as Nora raised her head. She couldn’t feel her arms anymore – she’d lost that feeling some time last night. They’d let her out of the cuffs a few times throughout the day, but only for a few minutes each, so the blood was never sufficiently pumped back into her limbs before she was forced back into her binds. It was possible there would be some lasting damage if she wasn’t let out for longer periods of time, and soon.

“Gage,” she whispered as he met her eyes. He slowly moved over to her, a wary smile plastered on his face.

“Hey, Boss,” he said, glancing her up and down as if assessing the damage.

He held a tray of food in his hands – some mutfruit, tatos, a tiny piece of roasted brahmin, and purified water all set upon it. The mere sight and smell of the food made her stomach growl, and that seemed to tell her she hadn’t eaten or drank anything yet for the day. It was already afternoon. “I can’t feel my arms,” she said.

“Well let me unlock you so you can eat, alright?” Gage moved closer and reached up to the binds, pressing the end of a key into them so they came undone from around her wrists. He’d disarmed himself before coming into her prison, so she knew she wouldn’t be able to grab a weapon from him and she definitely couldn’t overpower him no matter how strong she deemed herself to be.

Nora almost collapsed when she was freed, but Gage’s arms quickly went around her waist to catch her. Part of her wanted to knee him in the goddamn balls for daring to touch her, but she knew that would have been a bad idea. Instead, she steadied herself with his help and gave him a sheepish smile. “Thanks,” she mumbled. Once he released her, the vaultie sat on the floor near the tray and began to move her arms around; she rubbed her shoulders and neck, as well, before she picked at her food.

Gage crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned back against the closed door, watching her. “You need another stimpack?” he asked after a few long moments or silence. Nora nodded her head, and he reached into his pocket to grab one, then slowly approached her. When his hand touched her arm, she flinched – but perhaps he saw it as more of a wince from pain he may have caused her just from the touch, because he muttered an apology before sticking the needle in her bicep and pushing the medicine into her muscle. She felt it seep in and let out a sigh of relief, knowing it wouldn’t work right away but that it would still work.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Gage capped the stimpack before slipping it back into his pocket and returning to his position at the door – arms crossed, leaned back against it.

“Sure thing, Boss. I’ll always take care of you.”

Nora closed her eyes, brows furrowed. How could he ever think this was taking care of her? Before the war, when she was in her late teenage years fresh out of high school, one of her ex-boyfriends had stalked her. He’d consistently call her work, show up outside her house, send her flowers, harass her friends, all of it. He thought he was doing it for her, but never once did he think he was doing it for himself.

Gage was just like him.

Selfish.

And as much as she wanted to tell him that, she knew she had to play the game. His game. Nora may not have known all the rules yet, but she knew enough of them for now. “How’s Nisha?” she asked, trying to make some sort of small talk even though she really didn’t want to.

“Dunno. She and Savoy disappeared and left Dixie in charge.”

Good. I hope they escaped.

“I haven’t seen William yet,” she added.

“Yeah, he’s been taking care of shit while Mags has been… busy.”

Nora winced at the words. She hadn’t heard Mags doing anything horrible to Mason, but she’d heard the Black sister taunting him and making enough vile threats to know something should be expected eventually. If Gage was telling the truth and Mags really was wanting to use Mason as a toy, then they needed to get out of there. Soon.

She picked at one of the tatos, seemingly having lost her appetite after thinking about what Mags might have planned for the Alpha. But when she realized he was just staring at her, she took a bite of it before continuing her excruciatingly painful small talk. “Why do you keep calling me ‘Boss,’ anyway? I’m clearly not the Overboss anymore.”

The raider seemed to think on the question for a moment, as if he wasn’t even sure himself. “Would you rather me call you ‘Nora,’ instead?” he asked. But the sound of her name on his lips made her jaw tense and she ground her teeth together, trying to swallow the rage that rose in her throat. She wasn’t used to people calling her by her name anymore; it was always ‘Overboss,’ ‘Vaultie,’ ‘Blue,’ ‘Charmer,’ ‘Mum,’ ‘Sentinel,’ or whatever else. But never ‘Nora.’ When Mason used her name the first time, the way it rolled off his tongue was just so goddamn nice she couldn’t bring herself to tell him not to. But Gage? She fucking hated it – perhaps more than she would have if he’d said it before he did all this.

“No,” she whispered, shaking her head. “’Boss’ is fine.”

“Yeah, alright,” he said, his voice sounding almost defeated. The vaultie finished the tato but didn’t seem interested in eating the rest, instead just sipping the water before leaning back against the wall. Gage pushed off the door and approached her, and she felt fear rise in her stomach at what he might do. But when he just held his hand down, palm up, offering to help her stand, she released the breath she didn’t realize she was holding. “I gotta put you back in the cuffs now, Boss.” Nora nodded, though the time out of them was not long enough; but she took his hand and stood. Once on her feet, he gently guided her so her back was to the wall, having placed his hands on her hips to do so – it was an affectionate touch that made her internally cringe. And as soon as he led her into the right spot, he gently took hold of her wrists and raised her arms above her head, locking them into the cuffs. His actions were delicate and gentle, as if he were binding her before making love to her.

It made her want to fucking puke.

Their eyes met after she was securely locked in, and he cupped her face in his hands like he had the day before, thumbs running over her cheeks. Perhaps he wished she would cry so he could wipe away her tears again – but she didn’t have any left; the dam of emotions had broken yesterday and everything it blockaded already released. He was too late.

Gage leaned in and pressed his forehead to hers. As much as Nora wanted to thrust her forehead against his nose and break the delicate bone there – undoubtedly what Mason had done to Mags before – she resisted the urge, but instead leaned her head forward as well, returning the affectionate movement. Her stomach turned at her own actions and she began to hate herself more than she ever had before – but the vaultie knew if she were to ask him for a favor, she’d need to give him some sort of attention, even if it was as small as this.

But it wasn’t a small gesture to him, and maybe the act of her returning the closeness was what prompted him to lean in and gently press his lips to hers.

Nora’s entire body tensed as she refrained from kneeing him in the balls or headbutting him in the nose or even just yanking her face away. Gage tasted of cigarettes and beer – nothing like Mason. But she was thankful when the kiss turned out to be a short one, and one she didn’t even have to return. When he pulled away, he rested their foreheads together again; Nora closed her eyes tightly, not wanting to look at him. Maybe the dam hadn’t completely demolished and there was still something hidden behind the unbroken concrete.

“Boss,” he whispered, but she refused to open her eyes; like a child who was too afraid to come out from under the covers in fear of the boogeyman. “You are somethin’ else; I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I found a piece of me I didn’t know was missin’.” The raider placed a gentle kiss to her forehead – intimate, affectionate, loving. “I’ll come back later tonight, alright?” he said, as if that was a reassuring sentence. As if she even wanted him to come back.

When Gage finally pulled away, he grabbed the tray of food and began moving toward the door. Nora opened her eyes at that point and looked after him. “Gage?” she called, her voice quiet – unsure if she really wanted to stop him. But he’d heard her and stopped with his hand on the doorknob as he turned to meet her gaze. “Can I… ask a favor? Please?”

It was almost as if he knew she was going to ask something he wouldn’t like. The raider’s hand gripped the knob tighter and he tipped his head up, like he was preparing himself for the anger he would inevitably feel rise in his belly. But even still, he remained silent, waiting.

“I can hear him breathing. He’s struggling, like something’s wrong.” Gage’s jaw tensed and his eyes narrowed, but before he could reprimand her for bringing Mason up, she continued. “If you want me to stop thinking about him and let him go, then I need to know he’s okay. Please, Gage. Just… give him a stimpack. That’s all I’m asking. Just help him breathe.”

Maybe Gage still had some empathy inside him or maybe that was just Nora’s wishful thinking and an attempt to humanize him despite his actions, but after she stared at him with pleading blue eyes and watched him mull over her request, she felt a wave of relief envelope her as he agreed. “Alright. But just this once, Boss. I ain’t gonna be doing this again. Like I said, it’s best you just forget about him. But if this’ll help you do that, then fine.”

For the first time since she’d been made a prisoner, a smile crossed her face – it was meek, but it was a smile, nonetheless. “Thank you, Gage,” she whispered. He didn’t reply and instead just turned and walked out. The vaultie listened to his footsteps, but when he began walking in the wrong direction, her heart sank – at least until the thudding of his heavy boots came back. They walked past the Parlor bathroom she was in and into the one Mason was in. Another wave of relief washed over her.

She could hear Mason’s voice; his beautiful fucking voice. Gargled and wheezing and struggling but still so goddamn beautiful.

“Gage?” he questioned as he wheezed. The thudding of boots slowed until they came to a stop and Nora turned her head to listen better. Everything was still hard to hear through the walls and she wondered if Mason could ever hear her speaking through them.

Thump.

Mason groaned and Nora felt her chest sink; she closed her eyes, a few tears escaping from beneath her lids and streaming down her cheeks like a waterfall. There were no more noises that signified Gage hitting the Alpha again, but after a few moments of pure silence, she heard that familiar southern drawl. “The stimpack is from Nora. Hope it helps, you fuckin’ mongrel,” he snarled.

Heavy boots left the bathroom and the door was slammed shut. She listened to them stomp down the hall before they faded from earshot, and only at that point did Nora allow herself to truly cry.

Chapter Text

How long had it been since she’d been kidnapped and locked in the Parlor bathroom? Since she’d even seen the sunlight? Felt its warmth on her skin? Since she’d had an actual conversation with someone that wasn’t forced? When was the last time she’d talked to anyone other than the small talk made with a man she hated but only pretended to tolerate in an attempt to be civil to convince him she could be trusted so he’d grant her some small amount of freedoms? They’d taken her pip-boy, so she had no way of telling the date or time; but even if she still had it, she couldn’t even bring her arms down to check, anyway.

She’d get it back one way or another, even if it meant she had to cut off someone’s arm in the process.

The familiar sound of an unlocking door stirred her alongside a throbbing in her head. Nora opened her eyes and turned them to her prison door, watching Gage slip in just like he always did and shut it behind him. He had a tray of food that he sat in the same spot as usual, then continued his daily routine of unlocking her binds to allow her to eat.

“Morning, Boss,” he greeted as he slid the key into the lock of her cuffs. There were chains wrapped around one of his arms, resting in the crook of his elbow; she couldn’t help but stare at them in a mixture of fear and confusion.

“Gage?” she questioned with furrowed eyebrows. What was he planning?

He followed her gaze, looking to the chains. “Oh, don’t worry, Boss. I know this ain’t exactly the most comfortable position, so I brought some adjustments for you.” When her hands were free of the binds, he caught her just like he always did with his arms around her waist. She didn’t tense but instead put her arms on his biceps to help steady herself as she gave him a grateful smile and mumbled her thanks, then sat on the floor to eat while stretching her arms and shoulders out.

Nora began to devour the food Gage brought her, having learned to do so fairly quickly since she knew she couldn’t afford to be a picky eater or lose her appetite; he was the only one who brought her anything to eat, after all. The tray had a mutfruit, mirelurk cake, and two carrots, along with two cans of purified water. He must have realized she wasn’t drinking much water and he definitely wasn’t stupid enough to not know she’d get dehydrated and ill from it.

The vaultie began gnawing on one of the carrots as she watched her former second-in-command mess with the chains on the walls, sliding the short chain free from the thick loops that were hooked into the plaster and sliding the longer ones into them. The new chain was long enough that she’d be able to sit on the floor against the wall and not have to hold her arms above her head. That realization alone made her almost sigh with relief.

But Mason wouldn’t get the same treatment. She knew that. What privileges she was getting in this fucked up prison were because of Gage.

Part of her fantasized about how easy it would be to just strangle herself with the longer chain; to wrap it around her throat and let her body go limp as it cut off her oxygen until she finally had the freedom to let go. But, then again, she knew that wasn’t an option. If she took the easy way out, Mason would be stuck here, and she couldn’t just leave him behind. At least not without ensuring he was safe and away from this fucking hellhole Parlor.

From Mags.

“Thank you,” she mumbled, blue eyes looking up to his hazel one as he finished installing the new chain. She almost felt grateful for it.

He looked down at her with a smile and nodded his head, taking his usual spot by the door – back against it, arms crossed over his chest. “How you feelin’?” he asked quietly.

“Sore. My head is hurting really bad again,” she answered as she sipped some of the water, having devoured both carrots so far. The familiar pain throbbing in her skull was likely a combination of dehydration, stress, and the position she’d been forced to remain in for long periods of time. It usually started with a dull throb at the base of her neck and radiated up into her head until it was pulsing almost everywhere. Gage had given her stimpacks for it over the past few days to help relieve the pain, but it always came back within a few hours; and this time, it was back with a vengeance.

“Need another stimpack?” he asked. His voice was gentle, and if she didn’t know any better, she might have thought he actually cared about anyone but himself.

Maybe he did.

“Yes, please.”

Gage nodded and pulled a stimpack from his pocket, seeming to always bring at least one with him every time he came to see her just in case she needed it. He slowly approached and crouched beside her, though she no longer flinched at his looming presence or when his empty hand reached out to gently grasp her upper arm. She bared her arm for him willingly and he slid the needle into the muscle of her bicep, pushing the injector to allow the medicine to flow in. Once it was empty, he slid the needle out and capped it, then put it back in his pocket.

“Thank you, Gage.”

“Sure thing, Boss,” he said as he returned to the door to lean against it with his arms crossed once again. He had a routine now – he was careful. Gage was not a creature of habit, but he didn’t trust her not to do anything yet.

Nora picked at the mirelurk cake, tearing it into a couple pieces before slowly eating them. It wasn’t that she lost her appetite or wasn’t hungry anymore, it was just that she wasn’t very fond of the cakes – but she’d eat it regardless because she was hungry as hell. Eating only one meal a day gave her enough stomach cramps from the rampant hunger for a lifetime.

But the familiar sound of boots clicking along the tile made her stop. Blue eyes slowly raised from the mirelurk cake in front of her to look at Gage, but he just stared at her intently, as if daring her to say or do something. They kept eye contact while the clicks made their way past her prison door and to Mason’s, three more sets of footsteps following behind. The Alpha’s door opened, and the four people walked in. Nora’s breath hitched in her throat.

“Hello, Alpha,” she heard Mags say through the wall. The Black sister always made sure she was speaking loud enough for Nora to hear; it was definitely intentional. But when Mason didn’t reply to her greeting, Nora could almost hear the smile in Mags’ voice. “What? Not talking to me anymore? I even brought a surprise for you.” Something heavy slid along the tiled floor. “Bend him over it,” Mags commanded.

Chains clattered at that point. “Get the fuck off me!” Mason yelled; the vaultie could hear the physical struggle through the walls as he was clearly fighting back against people who were doing whatever to him. Moving him, maybe? She heard Mags’ boots clicking on the floor again, slowly, before the struggling stopped.

“Now, now, Alpha. Do you know what this is?” When there wasn’t an answer, Nora heard a loud smack and tensed her jaw; she kept her eyes on Gage and he held her stare in return. There was a fire behind her irises. “I asked you a question,” Mags growled.

“Yes.”

“She ever use something like this on you?” There was another slap when he didn’t answer again.

“No.”

“Oh, really?” Mags’ voice went up an octave out of interest. “Well, that is certainly a surprise. I figured, ya know, after finding out you liked to get collared and ordered around, you might also like to get fucked in the ass, too.” Nora felt her chest tighten and her jaw tense even more as she stared at Gage. “But that’s okay,” Mags continued, “There’s always a first time for everything.”

“Mags…” Mason warned with a growl.

“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll enjoy it.” Mags paused and Nora felt her heart racing as she waited for what was coming next. “Pull his pants down.”

There was another struggle that was muffled by the walls that separated the two prison-like bathrooms before she heard Mags’ clicking boots moving around the room again. Mason started hyperventilating – he was beginning to panic. “Mags,” he rasped, “Don’t.”

“Don’t what, Alpha?”

“Don’t do this.”

“It sounds like you’re commanding me and we both know that’s not going to work here.”

Please, Mags,” he begged. Tears started welling in Nora’s eyes at the terrified sound in the Alpha’s voice. This wasn’t like the way she made him beg – when he begged for her, it was always begging for more; but here he was begging for Mags to stop.

The Black sister’s boots clicked as she walked around the room again, likely to move back in front of Mason to see his face. “Then I want you to do two things for me, so listen closely. First, some of the Pack is still loyal to you despite your weakness; I want you to change that. Figure out a way to make them understand how weak you are. And secondly,” Mags paused and Nora stopped breathing as she listened, “I want you to submit to me.”

Mason didn’t reply and Nora felt her jaw trembling. He had to be terrified. She was terrified.

“Alright, well, I guess we can play now, then,” Mags announced.

But just when Mags seemed to be moving around the room again – because her boots were always making noise when she walked – Mason quickly responded. “Okay!” he shouted. His voice grew softer next. “Okay, Mags. I’ll do it. Just… don’t. Please.”

The vaultie’s heart sank. “Very good boy,” The Black sister crooned. “Pull his pants back up and put him back in the binds.” There was some shuffling, but she didn’t hear Mason struggle, then the four sets of footsteps left the room and disappeared down the hall. Mason was silent.

He’d given up.

“Gage,” she whispered, afraid if she spoke too loud Mason would hear her and know how close she was and that she’d heard it all, “I told you the only way I could let him go was if I knew he was okay.”

“And I told you that you’d wanna be out of here before Mags started playing with him, but the only way you’re gettin’ out is if you come with me. You haven’t expressed any desire to do that, Boss, so you’re staying right here. I can’t control Mags and what she wants to do with him, and that ain’t my business, anyhow.” His tone was harsh; he was angry. Gage moved forward and grabbed her wrists roughly, dragging her across the floor as she yelped; he pulled her directly under where the chains were and clasped them around her wrists, locking her up once again.

Tears were falling down her cheeks; she wanted to scream. “Please don’t let her hurt him, Gage. Please. I’ll do whatever you want, just don’t let her hurt him.”

“No, you won’t. That’s the fuckin’ problem,” he growled. He was raising his voice at the same rate as his temper and Nora knew there was no way Mason didn’t hear them now. “I’m doing all this for us, but you don’t care about none of that. You just want him; it’s always ‘Mason this,’ ‘Mason that.’” Her former second-in-command crouched down in front of her now, his hand grasping her chin so she was forced to look up at him. “If she wants to play with him, let her. But you need to realize there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it and I ain’t about to fuckin’ stop her. Now, I’m done fuckin’ around. Decide what you wanna do, Nora, because I’m gettin’ real fuckin’ impatient.”

Gage released her chin as he stood and moved to the door, opening it, walking out, and then slamming it shut and locking it behind him. He left her with the tray of food, presumably so she’d finish eating it and drinking the water – he’d probably come back for it later. Might even apologize for his behavior because that was always what abusive bastards did when they acted out.

The vaultie listened to his boots fade in the distance before she let out the breath she was holding – but the sound of a familiar, muffled voice with a thick Boston accent made her eyes open wide.

“Nora?”

“Mason,” she whispered.

Chapter Text

“Nora?”

“Mason,” she whispered.

“Is it really you?” His voice was filled with skepticism and exhaustion as if he didn’t believe his own ears – but after everything he’d been put through thus far, who could blame him for doubting?

“Yeah, pup, it’s really me,” she confirmed. Tears streaked down her face, leaving behind wet lines in the layers upon layers of dirt and grime that was caked on her skin; she hadn’t bathed since the day they’d left for the Galactic Zone, however long ago that was. Not even Gage had brought her water and a cloth to wash herself with.

“Fuck,” Mason growled lowly, the sound strained; he must have realized she’d heard everything.

“It’s okay, pup.” It wasn’t, but if the lie helped him then she’d say it over and over and over again like a broken fucking holotape until her voice went hoarse. “We’re gonna get out of here, alright? We’re gonna get out of this stupid fucking place and when we do, I will make every last one of them pay. I promise you I will rip William’s heart out and make Mags fucking eat it before I feed her alive to the Pack’s dogs. But you gotta stay with me.” The Alpha didn’t reply; Nora sighed and thumped her head back against the wall behind her. “I need you to stay with me, Mason. Please. I can’t do this on my own and I won’t let you do it on your own, either. You gotta stay strong for me. Can you do that, pup?”

There was a long silence before he finally replied; it was quiet but just loud enough for her to hear through the walls. “Yeah.” It was clear he was unsure if he really could, but she accepted the answer regardless.

And even with the lack of confidence, it brought a wave of relief crashing over her. “Yeah, I know you can. You’re what holds me together and I swear to you we will get out of this or I’ll take those fuckers out trying.” Nora shifted so her side was pressed against the wall; she gently rested her cheek and the palm of her hand against the plaster, allowing the coolness to contrast against her warm skin. Oh, how she wished she could hear his heartbeat from the other side of the thin material.

Wait.

“Mason, is your back against this wall?” she asked as she hit the heel of her palm against it a couple times, trying to keep the sound low enough so no one else in the Parlor would hear it but there would still be enough of a vibration for the Alpha to feel it.

“Yeah. They got me chained against it. Arms up and everything like I’m a piece of fuckin’ meat. Same with you?”

Nora hesitated before answering. Did she want to tell him Gage was giving her special treatment and privileges? He’d already heard what the man had to say about ’doing it for them’ and how he was ’getting impatient,’ but did she want the Alpha to know just how much Gage was doing? Just how far she’d let it go? The kiss? The soft touches she’d even encouraged because she knew it’d give her more freedoms? Hell, if she hadn’t let him kiss her, she probably wouldn’t have a better situation with her chains right now.

“How high are the hooks for your chains, pup?” she asked, opting to change the subject rather than provide an answer – at least she wouldn’t be lying. Nora brought herself to her feet and raised her arms, ignoring the pain that shot through her shoulders and neck from doing so. She reached as far up as she could without straining too much to see how close she was to the hooks and took a guess Mason’s hands were probably right at them.

“I can just barely reach ‘em,” he confirmed. The bastard was tall. “Why? What are you seein’, kitten?”

The use of her newly acquired pet name made a wave of warmth spread through her chest as if she were seeing the sunset for the first time. The vaultie pressed her forehead against the wall, the plaster cooling her skin again as she smiled. “I think our hooks might be connected, or at the very least in very close proximity of one another.” Nora tipped her head back again, looking up to the metal pieces above and inspecting how they were drilled into the wall. “I know you’re tired, baby, but I want to try something. I need you to pull down on your chains a bit, okay? Not too much because I don’t want them to make a lot of noise, but I do wanna see if my side moves at all. These walls don’t look very strong, so if we’re connected to the same piece, I should be able to see my side move with your weight.”

“You callin’ me fat?” he quipped.

She couldn’t help but smile at the joke, but when she heard the sound of clinking metal through the wall, her eyes focused on the hooks, waiting for them to move. Nothing happened at first and the fact made her heart sink – but after a few seconds of Mason pulling down, she saw just the slightest movement.

Raiders were never known for being smart.

“Okay, Mason, that’s enough. You did so good, pup. Thank you.” Nora slid down to sit with her side leaning against the wall once more, cheek resting against the plaster. “Just try to relax now, okay? I’ll be right here.”

They sat quietly for a few minutes, though anxiety grew like a dark cloud deep in her gut the longer the silence went on. Her fingertips stroked along the peeling paint on the wall, nails making designs with indentations into the plaster. She wanted to see him; wanted to hold him and fall asleep in his arms again. She knew they should have left when they had the chance.

“I miss you, pup,” she said quietly.

“I miss you, too, kitten.”

Nora smiled sadly. “You know, when we were leaving the Galactic Zone, I thought about asking if you wanted to just… leave. To go away somewhere with me and not come back.”

“Like run away?”

“Yeah,” she admitted softly, “We could have started over. Maybe it was stupid of me to think that, I don’t know, but I wish I would have at least asked before…” She stopped herself before finishing the sentence.

“Nah, it ain’t stupid.”

A couple more tears fell down her cheeks as he reassured her. The sadness in her smile remained, though the feature became more genuine. “And to think, I was terrified of you when we first met. You’re really just a big softie.”

“Wait, what? You were terrified of me?”

The vaultie laughed, the sound escaping her chest. “Shit yeah, I was. You’re fucking huge, pup. You’re like twice my size and I thought you’d just push me around to show me who was boss. I didn’t know what to do so I just… went into dom mode, I guess. And you responded to it.”

“Well, I surprised myself by responding to it,” he admitted. “And when you told me not to show up at your place that night, I actually did.”

Nora dramatically gasped. “Mason!” Her hand went over her chest like she was hurt even though he couldn’t see the action. Still, the Alpha laughed and the familiar rumbling sound from his chest warmed her.

“I was determined to put you in your place and fuck you until you were numb, but I, uh… chickened out and never hit the button for the lift.”

“So, you’re saying the Big Bad Wolf was too scared of little ole me?” she asked while trying to suppress a laugh – it was not working.

“Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up, kitten.”

They fell silent again after the laughing died down, though it didn’t bother her as much as before. Nora allowed her eyes to close as she imagined herself lying against him, feeling his chest rise and fall with each breath. She’d give anything to just tangle herself with her lover right now, sexual or not.

“Kitten?” His voice came as a surprise, but she only answered with a ’hmm?’ He seemed to hesitate before asking his question. “After all this is over with, do you think… do you think you could love me?”

The question made her eyes open and she crinkled her brow. Did she think she could love him? It was a hard question and an even harder answer – but something she’d thought about time and time again, especially recently – and especially when they woke up in the Galactic Zone and shared such an intimate and sensual morning. But her last love was Nate and that ended with a bullet in his head and their child being kidnapped; and even relationships she’d had after him either ended in death or some sort of violence.

But Nora had never loved anyone else since her husband.

Or, at least, not until she stumbled into Pack territory.

She found herself thinking of the Alpha a lot, especially since they were taken prisoner. She was willing to risk herself to make sure he was safe and unharmed, something she’d never done for anyone but her late husband. And she hadn’t longed for another person in quite some time like she had for Mason; not even just for sex, but just to be in his arms and fall asleep against his chest. To be held and cradled and loved.

Nora’s heart had hardened long ago but Mason had found a tiny sliver that had yet to solidify and pierced it. He’d wiggled his way in and built a nest and now the vaultie found herself head over heels for the Alpha of the Pack – and absolutely terrified of feeling that way for someone again.

But maybe worst of all was how he was asking if it was possible for her to love him after this – as if he expected to be a broken man worth nothing more than a sex toy that would be used and discarded, which was exactly what Mags was telling him. She hadn’t heard a tremble in his voice through the walls, but his words were filled with a vulnerability that cut deep and left gashes a mile long. Nora knew broken; she was broken, herself. But if Mason broke, she’d gather the pieces and use every ounce of wonderglue to stick them back together, no matter how long it took.

They wouldn’t get out of this unscathed, she knew that. But she’d damn well make sure they got out together and that she was there to pick up every single piece of him that chipped off along the way.

“Yeah, pup, I do,” she said softly.

“How do you know?” he asked. The question made her chest sink a little more.

“Because I already do love you, silly.”

Chapter Text

Gage came back a few hours later, as promised. This time was a bit unusual, however, because he brought another tray of food when he usually only brought her one meal per day. The number of times he visited her throughout the day was typically dependent on how he was feeling – whether she’d mentioned Mason recently and pissed him off, for example – as well as if he was busy managing stuff with the park; but he always made time to see her at least once and bring her food. But it was never more than one tray per day.

Until now.

But Nora knew why he was bringing her a premium deathclaw steak, freshly-picked mutfruit, a can of purified water, and a plastic Nuka-World cup full of tart lemonade. She’d seen this behavior happen enough times in her life – whether it was her father doing it to her mother or her ex doing it to her – to know exactly what it was. She knew what an abuser’s apology for their bad behavior looked like.

Gage closed the door behind him and set the tray on top of the one he’d left in the room earlier. Nora watched him closely, though she remained silent even after he greeted her; not returning it like usual. She wanted him to know she was angry, that she was fucking pissed at him beyond how angry she usually was for what he was doing to her and Mason. Not that it would really even necessarily matter to him, but she’d played the game of abused victim enough times to know if he understood he’d hurt her – which he clearly did to some extent – there was a chance she could use that in her favor.

While the raider was predictable in the sense that all abusers were similar in certain ways, he wasn’t always so predictable, and she could only hope the metaphorical cards she held in her hand were the right ones to help her turn the tables.

Her former second-in-command moved back to the door after setting the tray down, no longer needing to unlock her binds since she had a longer chain that allowed her some reach. He leaned his back against the wood and crossed his arms over his chest, keeping most of his routine intact; though as he watched her, she stared back at him with a fiery anger in her eyes. He bristled at the realization she wasn’t interested in the food but was instead waiting expectantly.

And he gave in just like she knew he would.

“Listen, Boss,” Gage said after clearing his throat; but that was Nora’s opening as she cut him off and began playing her cards.

“You hurt me, Gage,” she said sharply; his eyebrow crinkled toward the center of his face, moving against the chunk of metal he used as a sorry excuse for an eyepatch. “You grabbed me, and it hurt. I don’t know why you think bringing me food is somehow an acceptable apology, but it’s not.” His mouth opened but quickly snapped shut when nothing came out. That was pure opportunity. “I thought you cared about me, Gage?” she asked, her tone now sounding more hurt than sharp. But Gage looked almost confused, remaining silent as he mulled over her words. She could almost see them tumbling around beneath that fucking mohawk.

“Of course I do, Boss,” he said, though his tone was less confident, like he wasn’t entirely sure why she was saying all this to him and hurting him.

But Nora had three more cards left in her hand and none of them were pretty for the raider standing in front of her. “Then why would you upset me like that? Why would you hurt me?” The emphasis on the word ‘hurt’ made him wince, as if he were truly regretful of his actions. And maybe he was.

“Look, I—”

“If you want us to be together, then I need you to promise me you won’t ever do anything like that again. Promise me.”

Gage’s jaw dropped – hook, line, and fucking sinker.

“Alright,” he conceded, though his voice was much softer. “Alright. I’m sorry, Boss. I just… I lost my temper and I shouldn’t have done or said all that shit.” He dropped his gaze to the floor, acting like a remorseful child who’d opened all the Christmas presents too early and without permission. “I never wanted to hurt you, but you just frustrate me so fuckin’ much sometimes.”

Typical abuser behavior – blaming her for his actions. Nora studied him for a long moment even though he refused to look at her, and while the shame was clear in his face, she was trying to determine exactly how much shame there was that she could utilize. If she pushed him a step too far, she’d be sent back to square one with an empty hand because, shit, she only had one card left.

Fuck it.

“I told you I can’t let him go or forget about him if he’s being hurt but you made me sit here and listen to Mags threaten to fucking rape him today.” Nora brought herself to stand, having been sitting with her back against the wall originally. The rage rose in her belly like fire and she was ready to spit it and burn the entire fucking place down. “Do you even want me to forget about him, Gage?” Even though she was much smaller than him – well, she was smaller than most people, really – she knew how to make herself more intimidating; she didn’t need size for that. “Do you even want me to let him go?” Nora was approaching him; her movements were slow, eyes narrowed, and tone aggressive and threatening. But Gage remained still, his posture unchanging though he was now staring back at her once again. “Or do you actually enjoy playing the part of the pining, forgotten third wheel who forces his way into the life and between the legs of the woman he fancies?” She stood as close as she could now, as close as the chain would allow her to be. “Which is it, Gage?” she growled.

Her former second-in-command slowly pushed himself off the door and uncurled his arms from his chest, closing the distance between them and silently staring down at her for a long few moments. But they were too long, and it was only then did she feel something twisting and turning in her chest, telling her she’d made a miscalculation. Everything the Brotherhood had taught her about planning her moves ten steps ahead of her opponent was all for nothing now; she’d fucked up.

Gage’s hand shot up and grabbed her roughly by the jaw – thumb on one side and the rest of his fingers on the other – as he pushed her backward until she was shoved hard against the plastered wall. The raider then pressed his body against hers, hand still holding her face.

She was pinned by the man who was holding her captive and she was all out of cards.

Nora glared up at him, jaw tense beneath his palm. “Let go of me,” she growled. Gage returned the glare and she almost thought she’d irreparably fucked up until, to her surprise, his hand slowly released her. It was… unexpected, to say the least. She remained quiet and studied his face, her eyebrows furrowed while she debated her next move and how to turn the situation back around and into her favor. One more overstep like she’d just done, and it’d all topple down around her and cage her in. But his obedience was unlike him. It wasn’t Gage.

Unless…

“Get on your knees,” she ordered, using the same tone of voice all her subs were familiar with. The rattle of chains from Mason’s room told her he’d heard, but she couldn’t deal with that now – she had to deal with Gage. The raider narrowed his one visible eye and for a second, she thought she’d fucked up again, at least until he dropped to his knees and stared up at her, waiting.

Nora had redrawn and picked a winning fucking hand.

But she still had to be careful. One wrong move and he’d take the control back and use it against her – again – and she wasn’t quite sure how far he’d go if she fucked up a second time. He wasn’t Mason, who eagerly obeyed because he wanted to please her; and he wasn’t Nisha, who only sought her own release. Gage was an unknown – unexplored territory where a single misstep could change everything.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, Gage,” she said as she reached one hand down to grab his chin and tip his face up, “I’m gonna tell you what I expect from you from now on and you’re going to give obey. Do you understand?” Gage nodded his head just slightly, though he was clearly hesitant on agreeing; but Nora just gripped his chin tightly, digging her nails into his skin. “Say ’yes, ma’am’ if you understand, Gage.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he echoed, but that unsureness was still apparent.

“Good. You’re a quick learner, and I like quick learners.” Her grip loosened on his jaw and instead she stroked her thumb over the rough hairs on his skin. “First, I want three meals per day from now on. I’ve lost weight and you don’t want me to get too thin, do you?”

“No, ma’am,” he drawled, but his eyes narrowed. Maybe she was already getting close to overstepping.

“Very good, Gage,” she cooed, and the praise made him visibly relax. That was a good sign. “Next, I want to take a bath tonight and have clean clothes to wear. I feel disgusting because you’ve denied me the opportunity to wash myself. Do you believe that is taking care of me like you promised you would?”

He didn’t hesitate this time. “No, ma’am.”

“Very good. I’m glad we agree.” Nora knew the last two would toe the line and possibly even take a flying leap over it, but she had to try. Gage was susceptible to how she was speaking and that meant she had a clear advantage. “I also want to go outside for a few minutes tomorrow during the day.” When he went to protest, she held up her free hand – palm flat, facing him – and he quieted. It worked with most people who didn’t know how to react to it, but especially with her subs. “If that means you need to tie me up or whatever, fine. But I need to be in the sun because otherwise I’ll get sick. Do you want me to get sick?”

“No, ma’am,” he grumbled.

The vaultie ran her thumb over the rough skin on his face again, feeling the prickles of hair peeking out. She could tell he was conflicted on whether he enjoyed giving her some of his control or absolutely hated it, but when she leaned down and kissed him roughly, he melted in her hands like butter. He still tasted like cigarettes and beer, though, and the mere idea of kissing him – let alone the actual act of it – made her want to puke.

But Nora still had one more card to play and if she wanted him to grant her such a privilege, then she needed to lure him in with that physical intimacy and affection he so desperately craved from her, no matter how much it made her hate herself.

When she pulled back from the kiss, they were both panting, but she kept their faces close. Gage’s hazel eye flicked between hers, as if searching for the lost city of Atlantis hidden deep in the blue of her irises. And when she released her fifth and final card, she slid it straight between his fucking eyes and without a hint of mercy. “I want to say goodbye to him, and you will not deny me that, Gage. Do I make myself clear?”

The raider hesitated; his eyebrow crinkled toward the metal eyepatch again as he still seemed to be searching for something. His staring made her nervous and she began to assume she’d miscalculated and fucked up again, but a wave of relief washed over her when he nodded his head once and spoke with a voice just barely above a whisper. “Okay.”

Chapter Text

The sun was warm on her skin, its heat washing over her and threatening to burn her to a crisp, but she welcomed it with open arms as she sat on the edge of the statue outside the Parlor. Her eyes were closed, head tipped back while she soaked up the rays – enjoying it while it lasted. Judging by where the sun was positioned in the sky, it had to be around noon; and that was just fine with her, because the heat felt terrific.

Gage stood to her right, rifle in hand while a bunch of Operators were scattered around nearby to ensure she didn’t run off and that no one from any of the other gangs tried to get too close. They’d blocked off the path where the Parlor was located, ensuring no one could use the area to travel between the marketplace and pond. They’d have to walk around if they wanted to get from one place to the other – and they weren’t allowed into the arcade for now.

Any Disciples gang members kept their distance and seemed uninterested for the most part, though it was hard to tell whether they were truly uninterested or not since they always wore masks. The Pack, on the other hand, had a few members on the side of the marketplace, watching from afar. Their colorful outfits were noticeable from a distance as they observed, searching the area for their Alpha. But he was nowhere to be seen outside the Parlor.

Her former second-in-command had given her the chance to clean herself last night, so she scrubbed her skin raw to try to free herself of the dirt and grime that she swore had almost become a permanent part of her body. She could only imagine how horrible and clogged the pores on her nose looked.

He’d given her clean clothes, as well, but what he provided was something she’d have only worn before the war – never in the wasteland. A black dress with thin shoulder straps made of even thinner material that clung tightly to her body seemed to show far too much cleavage and leg, but it was the only thing he’d given her. Well, aside from the pair of black heels to match. Whether he was providing her with this impractical outfit because he knew it’d be difficult to run and survive in a raider paradise while wearing it or because he actually enjoyed seeing it on her, she wasn’t sure, but it was probably a mixture of both.

Where he’d even obtained the dress and heels was a totally separate ball game and that she wasn’t going to ask about.

Nora’s eyes opened as she gazed around the area, taking in the sight of everything; but she focused on something in the distance – something that looked familiar. Was that… no, it couldn’t be. She glanced up to Gage, ensuring he wasn’t paying her any mind, before looking back to where she’d seen the familiar figure, but it was gone at that point. The vault dweller furrowed her eyebrows, swearing she’d just seen Nisha, but perhaps the dehydration and lack of sunlight was getting to her and making her hallucinate.

A few more Pack members had gathered nearby, their weapons in their hands but not aimed as they paced and observed from where they stood. Whether they’d actually act was another thing, considering they knew Mason was inside and if they even tried anything, he’d be killed right away. But maybe they weren’t there to break him out – because when the Parlor door opened and more Operators poured through it, followed by Mags and William Black, Nora had a bad feeling in her gut. Mags had a wide grin on her face and immediately locked eyes with the vault dweller; but William refused to even look at her, instead looking anywhere but.

And then came Mason, his hands bound in front of him by a short, thick chain and a bomb collar around his neck. The red light blipped, indicating it was active, and she felt her chest tighten. She stood, taking a step toward him before Gage held an arm out in front of her, stopping her from moving. “Mason!” she called.

“Don’t do it, Boss,” Gage growled, a calloused hand grabbing her around her upper arm to keep her in place. She didn’t pull against him, but instead remained still, watching her lover as he was shoved forward by one of the Operators to get moving.

Mason was breathing heavy and when he raised his head to look at her, she saw how sunken in his face was. Dark circles were around his eyes and his cheeks had sunken in from weight loss; he looked exhausted, like he hadn’t slept in days, and she knew if she were to look under his shirt, she’d see his ribs. They locked eyes with one another, and he just gave her a small, meek, lopsided smile. Mags must have allowed him to clean up because the dirt and grime were gone from his face and arms and he was now wearing a clean Nuka Cola outfit.

The Alpha was shoved forward again, making him walk toward the marketplace; there was an increasing number of Pack members gathering and Nora guessed they were called there rather than just having shown up. He was led up a slanted ladder to the top of the wooden platform that was above the barricaded entryway and made to stand before his Pack. Whether all of them were there or not, she didn’t know, but Mags had previously said not everyone was still loyal; it was likely that some of them saw Mason as weak now even though he didn’t actually get the chance to fight against his captors, but was instead blindsided and then confined to a small room.

Mags’ hand slid against his lower back, but he didn’t move and instead let her touch him. The sight made Nora’s stomach twist, but she knew she’d done the same thing with Gage and it was a decision that was considered playing it safe. She couldn’t blame Mason for allowing the Black sister to have those small touches if it prevented her from doing something much worse.

The blonde's lips moved as she spoke, but her voice was too low for Nora to hear what she said; Mason had turned his head just slightly to listen to her, however, then tipped his chin down before looking out over his gang.

“For any of you still loyal to me, don’t be. I ain’t worth that loyalty no more. I got caught by the Operators and I…” he stopped, seeming unable to continue; but when Mags dug her fingers into his back, he found the courage, “I’m weak and no longer your Alpha. She is.”

There was silence before someone in the crowd seemed to disagree. “That’s bullshit!” A few people mumbled ’yeah!’ in agreement before Mason glanced back over to the Black sister, as if unsure what she wanted him to do.

“There ain’t no way she coulda beaten you!” someone else said.

“Yeah, and we didn’t see it, so how do we know she didn’t cheat?” another asked.

Nora had to keep herself from smirking; Mags’ plan was backfiring splendidly.

“Look, I submitted to her, alright?” he yelled, and the crowd grew quiet again. “I went belly up for her. You see this fuckin’ collar on my neck? That means I ain’t Alpha material. Just fuckin’ accept it.”

He looked to Mags again and said something too low for anyone else to hear before the Black sister grinned and leaned in to kiss him roughly – and he kissed her back. There wasn’t any fire behind the kiss, Nora could see that even from where she sat, but it still stung. Seeing Mason, a man she’d told she loved for the first time just yesterday, kiss someone else hurt like fucking hell – and it wasn’t even his choice.

It made her want to fucking destroy Mags even more.

He was rushed off the platform as the crowd of Pack members held hushed whispers, trying to determine what to do. The Black twins followed him inside, having returned him to his room; Nora was taken in soon after, but not before being passed off to an Operator. The man put her in her own prison cell again, getting far too handsy when he had to put her binds on, but was quick to leave as instructed.

It seemed Gage didn’t want to lock her back up himself, and that was worrisome – maybe he just wanted to avoid her giving him too much shit about seeing Mason. Whatever the reason, she had no choice in the matter and instead sat silently on the floor, still wearing that goddamn uncomfortable dress.

Maybe fifteen minutes later with neither her nor Mason speaking – there were too many people close by for that – the familiar sound of boots clicking across tile hit her ears. Nora squeezed her eyes shut as they walked right past her room, just like usual, and to Mason’s – but three more sets followed behind her.

Something was wrong.

“Alpha—” Mags sang as she entered the room, the three others following her in before she shut the door.

“What do you want?” Mason asked with a grumble.

“You were a very good boy today, you know.” He didn’t reply to her, but her boots clicked as she slowly walked across the floor, like a predator. “I think it’s time we played, don’t you?” Something heavy slid across the floor; Nora only needed to hear that sound one time for it to be embedded into her brain forever. “Bend him over it,” Mags commanded.

Nora was going to fucking kill the bitch.

Chapter Text

The silence was deafening – or, it would have been deafening, if listening to what Mags did to Mason hadn’t sent her into horrendous flashbacks of her own trauma while she sat on the floor, arms wrapped around her legs with her face buried in her knees. Mason’s breathing was calm now compared to what it was twenty minutes ago, but she could almost feel his shame and self-hatred radiating through the walls and into her body.

Or was that her own?

Nora was reminded of how much she hated herself – then and now – and how long it took to get over what happened to her. She was sent back to that night and forced to relive it as a stranger had his way with her, used her in unspeakable ways before leaving her cold, bloody, and alone in the rain. Those memories haunted her for years and only when she’d been in therapy had they finally calmed; but now they were back in full force, violating her mind just like the man had done her body.

★★★★★

She was so entrenched in the reminder of her own trauma that she hadn’t even heard the sound of a key sliding into the Parlor bathroom’s door, or the creak of the wooden barrier as it was opened. Gage stood in the doorway, staring down at her silently, but she was oblivious to his existence as her face was still buried in her knees and her mind was still fogged with old nightmares that refused to leave her alone any longer.

At least until that southern drawl overrode them. “You wanna say your goodbyes?” he asked, bringing her out of her own thoughts. He’d given her everything she’d demanded thus far – brought her two meals for the day and would bring a third later; allowed her to bathe and dress in clean clothes last night; took her outside; and now, it was time to fulfill the last demand by letting her say goodbye to Mason. Of course, that was after she was forced to listen to Mags rape him.

“Yeah,” she whispered against her knees before slowly bringing herself to stand. Her face was red and puffy from crying the past forty minutes, though Gage seemed to pay it no mind as he unlocked her binds and stepped out of the room. His body shifted in the hallway to block off the exit and only allow her to instead take a sharp left turn toward Mason’s prison cell – as if she’d want to go anywhere else, anyway.

“You got five minutes,” he growled before letting her into the room and slamming the door behind her. It was literally visitation time during a prison sentence.

Nora’s mind no longer cared for her own wellbeing when her eyes looked to the Alpha strung up by his wrists with his back against the wall, eyes refusing to look at her. She was quick to move to him, her hands darting up to cup his face – but he flinched and turned his head away from her. The action caused her to freeze, brows furrowing as she instead dropped her arms by her side, defeated. “Pup…” she whispered, those familiar tears returning to well in her eyes.

“Nah,” he grunted, his eyes staring off to the side and at the ground still. She could just barely see them from the angle she stood at, and it was mostly because she was much shorter than him – they were bloodshot, matching how his face was puffy and almost as red as her hair.

The vaultie knew the timing of the day was far too convenient to be coincidental – it had to be planned. They were allowed to briefly see one another outside; he announced his submission to everyone; Nora witnessed Mags touch and kiss him; then she had to listen as Mags violated him. And now, not even an entire fucking hour later, Gage brought her into the room to see just how broken the Alpha was after it all. They wanted her to see him when he was freshly shattered with all the pieces scattered along the bathroom floor.

But she’d still pick each piece back up and glue him back together, and that’s exactly what she did.

“Yes,” she replied gently, her hands slowly rising to cup his face and turning it so he had to look at her. When green eyes met blue, she gently pressed their foreheads together. “I’m so sorry, Mason. I’m so fucking sorry,” she whispered.

“Ain’t your fault, Boss.”

He hadn’t called her ‘boss’ since before that night he’d comforted her after the Vault-Tec thing, and the fact he went back to it made her want to scream. Mason was closing up and keeping her out and she couldn’t even fucking blame him – she’d done the same thing before and she’d do it again if she was in his position.

“Do you remember what I told you yesterday?” she asked softly. He didn’t reply, but his eyes had fallen to the ground again. Nora stroked one thumb over a curled tip of his mustache, pressing it against his milky skin. “I told you I loved you. And I meant it.”

“Sure, Boss.”

Her chest hurt. She felt like she was being stabbed over and over and over again, like the knife was thrust between her ribs and twisted each time before being pulled out and moved just half an inch over as the process repeated.

“We’re gonna get out of here, baby. I promise. And then we’re gonna go live by ourselves somewhere, start our own pack, if you want. What do you think?” The Alpha grew quiet, but his eyes had closed. She wanted to peel them open so he had to look at her and see how serious she was.

“Maybe we can have some cubs of our own?” she added, and it was then she received a reaction. Light red eyebrows furrowed just before he finally looked to her, his eyes flicking between her own, searching for something – an answer, maybe. But he never asked a question. “Does that sound good to you?” She’d give him the world if it meant he’d just say something – even if that meant what he said was how he never wanted to see her again. She’d give anything to hear him speak.

But he was silent. “We can go anywhere you want and just be happy together. We’ll have a huge fucking family with a bunch of little ginger cubs running around and they’ll be our new pack. If that’s something you want?” She ended it with a question, hoping he’d finally provide a response. And as much as she just wanted him to answer with anything, she wanted him to answer with ’yes’ the most. Because, goddamnit, she’d do whatever she fucking could to make this man happy.

“Yeah,” he whispered, and Nora’s heart melted at the sweet, sweet sound of his voice.

A relieved smile spread across her lips, mixed with happiness and sadness all at once while tears streaked down her cheeks again. “Good, because I’d have fifty cubs for you if that’s how many you wanted, even though it’d make me look horrible and you’d never want to touch me again.” The corner of his mouth twitched a bit and Nora leaned up to kiss his forehead gently, leaving her lips planted against his skin for a couple seconds before pulling away and reuniting their foreheads again. “I love you so fucking much, pup.”

“I love you, too, kitten.”

She was content to just stand there with him, hands cupping his face, foreheads pressed together, eyes closed – but the door opened, and she knew their time was up. Nora sighed, feeling unable and unwilling to leave the Alpha again, but after pressing another loving kiss to his forehead, she let her hands drop from him before turning to face whomever it was Gage sent to take her back to her prison once again – because she knew he was too much of a fucking coward to do it himself.

But she was greeted by a grin peeking out from beneath a metal mask, and Nora could only whisper the name of the one who stood in front of her, “Nisha.”

Chapter Text

“Well, well, look who we have here.” The familiar voice of the Disciples leader sent a shiver up Nora’s spine as Nisha just grinned from beneath that rusted metal mask that almost resembled a serpent in some ways.

“Jesus, Nisha, where have you been!?” the vaultie asked as she rushed forward, throwing her arms around her best friend and receiving a tight hug in return.

“It’s not every day I like someone better alive than dead. I guess you’re one of the lucky ones.”

“Gage said you and Savoy ditched.”

“Gage is a filthy liar, Nora. I thought you figured that out?” Nisha was right – and it sent a red flush up the former-Overboss’ face; partially from embarrassment and partially from anger at herself for thinking the half-blind raider would have ever told her the truth about anything. “No one knew where you two were until someone started trailing him and saw him come into the Parlor at least once a day. It also seems Mags and William have considerably increased their numbers; maybe by paying some Commonwealth raiders to join in and fight.

“Plus, I think,” her eyes glanced to Mason, but he was staring at the ground again like he wasn’t even in the room with them, “Some of the Pack may have switched sides after they realized she was the one who, well, you know.” Nora’s eyebrows furrowed, but after a second, a key was pressed into her hand. “Go unlock your dog so we can go.”

She obeyed, turning to move over to Mason and gently cup his jaw with one hand to tip his face up. He met her eyes, but his were distant; he was somewhere else. “We’re getting out of here, pup. I need you to stick with me, okay?” He made a slight nod, but she wondered if she asked him to repeat what she said if he even could. “I’m gonna unlock your cuffs,” she said. The moment he was free from his binds, he fell to the ground, though Nora’s attempt to help did nothing since he was much bigger than her.

Once he was back on his feet, however, she shoved the key beneath one of her breasts. Gage hadn’t provided her with a bra – she didn’t know if that was a blessing or a curse yet – but since the dress was tight, the key would hold firm beneath one just in case she needed it again. She then slipped her hand into Mason’s, their fingers lacing together before she was ready to go. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Nisha grinned and turned, moving out of the room and motioning for them to follow. They began walking toward the main room, and that’s when the vaultie noticed it was… well, empty. There were gunshots just faintly heard outside, but no one appeared to be inside; everyone was either missing or busy somewhere else.

Well, at least until they walked past the kitchen doorway where a loud scream originated from Nora’s left, announcing the owner’s presence. But the vaultie was too slow to realize what was happening.

Just as she turned her head, she saw Lizzie charging her with a hammer in hand, ready to bash Nora’s face in. Luckily for the vault dweller, Mason was quicker – and since he was already right behind her, he was able to react. He grabbed Lizzie’s wrist, the other hand wrapping thick fingers around her throat and shoving her back hard against the nearest wall, keeping her held up high enough that her feet weren’t touching the ground as the air was pushed from her lungs. She struggled, but the more she struggled, the harder Mason squeezed her throat and wrist; and she quickly dropped the hammer with a loud clang as she was suffocating beneath his grasp.

Golden eyes shot over to Nora as they began to turn bloodshot while her face turned blue, and if Nora didn’t know any better, she’d say Lizzie was almost begging her former boss for help from the Pack Alpha. But instead, the vault dweller just stared back, moving in slowly so she could lean in and speak to the chem dealer. “Consider yourself lucky – this is the easy way out. Mags and William won’t be getting this chance.”

But as soon as the woman grabbed Mason’s forearm, that’s when Nora spotted it – the pip-boy on her wrist. She scowled, shooting a glare before unlatching it and pulling it free, then putting it on her own wrist, in its rightful place. Lizzie’s eyes slowly drifted shut and her fighting stopped, but Mason never let his eyes leave her, especially when he loosened his grip enough for her to take greedy inhales of air and come back to life like a puppet.

After Nora situated the pip-boy on her wrist, she turned just enough to hold her hand toward Nisha, palm flat and facing up, before the woman gently placed something in it without a word. A quick glance down as she brought her arm in front of her and she flipped the blade in her hand around, so the handle was extended towards Mason as she held it out in an offering. Only then did he look away from Lizzie, reaching down to take the knife and run his thumb over the handle just gently.

The fear in the woman’s eyes was prevalent as she just barely shook her head, being unable to do much more than that. But the Alpha remained silent as he raised the blade to her eye before letting it slowly sink through the tissue and into the socket. Lizzie’s body fought and she tried to scream, but he held her throat tight enough that she was only able to get out pained gasps here and there while she clawed at his arm and chest. But once the blade was deep enough to penetrate the grey organ behind her skull, she fell lifeless.

The Alpha released a long, slow breath from his nose before yanking the knife back out, holding it out for Nisha without looking at her. After she took it, Mason dipped the tips of his fingers into the blood that was gushing down Lizzie’s face, getting the pads wet with the red fluid before he turned to look at Nora, studying her for a moment.

Nora tipped her head up and closed her eyes, not needing him to say anything to know what he wanted. Almost immediately, he dragged his fingers across her face in a diagonal direction, smearing the blood along her skin to resemble scratch marks. And she did the same for him, dipping her fingers into the liquid before dragging them down his face in the same design. Only when they were done did they seem to admire their work before Mason leaned in to kiss her roughly – Lizzie’s body still held against the wall by his hand on her throat.

“I love blood as much as the next Disciple, and this is definitely romantic and sexy, but I think we’re running short on time,” Nisha announced.

Nora broke the kiss, her eyes opening to look up at the Alpha with a small grin before she turned to follow after the Disciples leader. A loud thump indicated Mason had dropped the dead woman’s body to follow, as well. But the closer they got to the front doors, the louder the gunshots became. “What the hell is happening out there?” Nora asked.

“Dixie made Savoy a bunch of fury grenades,” Nisha said with a grin, “The problems are taking care of themselves for the most part.”

Bodies were scattered all over the ground outside the Parlor, mostly Operators, but some still from the Pack and Disciples, as well. Nisha didn’t seem too bothered by it as she stepped over them, not even caring enough to look down and see who in her gang might have died. That would probably be dealt with later. And Mason was too far gone to even care at this point, it seemed; though his hand had found hers again.

“So, what’s the plan here, Nish?” Nora asked, looking down to watch her step. She didn’t exactly have the best footwear – Gage provided her with a set of heels – and getting stuck on a dead body was not something she wanted to happen.

“Get you to Fizztop Grille for a change of clothes and some weapons. Savoy should be keeping Gage busy while Dixie works on Mags and William. We both know she’s more than enough for them to handle.”

Nora’s eyebrows shot up and she almost felt bad for the Black twins. “Yeah, I’ve heard those… uh, souvenirs she keeps.”

“Why do you think I keep her so close?”

“Because she’s a fuckin’ psycho?” Mason interjected flatly, seeming to have joined them again, though for how long, she was unsure.

“Precisely,” Nisha replied. They passed under an archway and into the open area where the pond was located. It sounded like most of the gunfire was behind them, closer to the marketplace, but there were still plenty of fights in front of them, as well. Nisha brought herself to a crouch and stuck close to the wall before turning to look at them, finding they’d done the same. “It’ll be easier to just run for it. Everyone should be preoccupied while we head across. Or, if you prefer, we can go around and try to make our way there quietly. But in case you’re not aware, your dog is a little big and he doesn’t seem to be with us right now.”

Nora pursed her lips and glanced over to Mason, his eyes seeming distant again as he was silent. She sighed, knowing Nisha was right. Everyone seemed preoccupied for the moment and it would be hell trying to sneak around with Mason having trouble focusing. “I don’t think I can run in these shoes, Nish, but I’ll try. So, let’s go.” Another look to Mason and a gentle squeeze of his hand brought him back. The three of them stood and Nisha took the lead, jumping into the shallow water and running across in the direction of Fizztop Grille while Nora was close behind, followed by Mason.

But everything happened so fast, she wasn’t even sure what had happened.

A spray of red mist was sent into her eyes as Nisha went down and Mason hauled her off to the right toward a little boathouse area. A loud ringing noise was the only thing she heard, and when she called after her best friend as she was just floating in the water, Nora felt like she had no voice. She tried to run back despite the line of bullets that pummeled the shallow pond, rippling its surface, while Mason ran with her; and instead of continuing to fight her, he picked her up and flung her over his shoulder so she’d stop trying to run into the line of fire. He carried her to safety and together, they just barely survived the oncoming slaughter that had taken down the Disciples leader.

Mason ducked down beside the counter in the building, his knees bent and her between them while his arms were around her body, shielding her from any bullets that may have managed to come toward them while he held her close to his chest. He protected her unlike how she was unable to protect him and herself and her best fucking friend.

She kept failing. She was an abject failure.

But Nora knew who was responsible for this – it was the same exact person who was responsible for the entire fucking thing; and all she could do was scream his name out of anger. It was a warning that he undoubtedly heard, the yell echoing off the wooden walls of the boathouse and through the air. She wanted him to know she was coming for him.

She was seeing red despite the bullets having stopped once they were in the boathouse; her breathing was heavy as she shifted in Mason’s hold, taking her shoes off and snapping the heels so they’d be more level with the ground before sliding them back on her feet. It would probably hurt to walk and run, but they’d work for now until she could get up to the base and change clothes.

And take out Gage, of course.

Nora turned back to Mason, shifting to her knees between his legs as they were still hunkered down beside the counter. Her hands cupped his face and she gently pressed her forehead against his. “I love you, pup,” she whispered, placing a soft kiss to his lips, “I’m going to find and kill every last one of them. You gonna help?”

“Hell yeah, I am,” he growled – and that answer was one of the most beautiful things she’d ever heard. It was the most grounded he seemed since they were captured.

“Good. But I need you to stay in the here and now, baby. You can’t keep drifting off. I know what you’re doing, and we’ll talk about it when we’re safe, but you have to try to stay focused. Alright? Good boy. Let’s go.” She released him after one more kiss before bringing herself to stand, spotting a dead Disciples raider nearby and quickly moving to grab the plasma rifle that was still clutched within dead fingers. She handed it back to the Alpha – he was a good shot and she had quick eyes for searching, so it’d work until she could find another gun.

Which wasn’t hard and didn’t take long, really, considering there were dead raiders littered everywhere in the park. She happened upon a Pack member who was carrying a combat shotgun and it was almost too good to be true. One look at each other and they immediately switched with small smirks before continuing on.

No more shots came from Fizztop Grille, thankfully, but she knew Gage was up there waiting. He was probably alone, which meant either Savoy was dead or injured or something else had happened. Either way, it wasn’t looking good.

Still, Nora made it to the bottom of the restaurant and pressed the lift button, waiting for the platform to drop before she stepped onto it and pressed the button again to take her up. But before the lift even halted at the top, she was met with a rifle pointing directly between her eyes. Nora set her weapon down and raised her hands in the air, showing she was disarmed.

“Evenin’, Boss.” That familiar southern drawl only turned her stomach now. She never should have trusted him.

“Drop the gun, Gage.”

“Nah, don’t think so. Don’t want you trying anything stupid.”

“The only one who did anything stupid was you. You tore apart this entire operation, and for what?”

A fire lit behind his eyes like she’d ignited a brazier with an explosive match. “For you!” he yelled, “I did all this shit for you! After I watched you take down Colter and saw how you handled day-to-day life around here, I realized you were special. But then you had to go and start fuckin’ the goddamn Pack leader and,” Gage paused, taking a deep breath; but before he could continue again, Nora started.

“Gage,” she snapped, her voice turning to that tone he’d responded to before, “Come here.” His eye narrowed before he slowly approached, though his gun never lowered. And once he was close enough, Nora tipped her head up and held one hand out. “Give me the gun.”

But something in his face changed – he broke out in a smile and fucking laughed at her before his free hand shot out to grab her throat. He pushed her step-by-step to one of the booths near the lift, slamming her back down onto its table so he was leaned over her. “Don’t tell me you actually thought that shit worked on me, Nora? You may be able to teach your mutt some tricks, but you’re about as gullible as Lizzie when it comes to her thinkin’ she’s got some persuasion chemical if you think that shit actually worked on me.”

The hand on her throat tightened and her own fingers wrapped around his forearm, trying to push him away. “I only did that shit because I wanted to,” he added, “Because I wanted you to think you had some ounce of fuckin’ power when in reality you ain’t got none. I’ve always been the one who runs this. You? You’re just a pretty fuckin’ face.” With her air cut off, Nora’s face was turning blue, though Gage never let up. “But don’t you worry. We’re together now and I ain’t goin’ nowhe—”

Thud.

Gage’s body collapsed on the ground after a bash to the head, Mason standing behind him, shotgun in hand. With her airway unobstructed, Nora gasped for oxygen, greedily sucking it in as she clawed at her throat, almost trying to peel the skin away to give herself a better chance to breathe. The Alpha moved closer, though, helping her sit up.

“You’re alright, kitten,” he whispered to her, pulling her against his chest gently as he rubbed her back. “You wanna do the honors?” he asked.

“No,” she replied softly, shaking her head against him. “Not yet. I have a better idea for him and the Black twins.”

Chapter Text

I’ve lost all ambition for worldly acclaim
I just want to be the one you love

The thumping heartbeat in her chest was like a drum and louder than anything she’d ever heard before; she was crouched low to the ground, walking silently with her bare feet against the concrete while light blue eyes strained to see in the dark. Stealth was vital now – she had to hide from any and all light to remain undetected, as well as stay quiet – because if she wanted to get out of the damn maze alive, which she absolutely did, then she needed to be silent and use her wits. There was no time to panic or let fear take over.

And with your admission that you feel the same
I’ll have reached the goal I’m dreaming of

So what if she was trapped in this damned maze? And so what if she was being hunted like a fucking animal? She could get out of this – she would get out of this.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

The voice was taunting her, almost singing the sentence as its owner moved around somewhere nearby, but it was nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact location as the music echoed off the walls; almost like it were coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. And maybe that was what made this whole thing so fucking terrifying.

Believe me
I don’t want to set the world on fire

Add to it the music playing that followed the stalking voice everywhere and the entire situation was creepy, like an old ghost story; while she couldn’t always hear the lyrics, she knew the songs well – they’d always played on Diamond City Radio.

I just want to start

Her bare foot caught something when she stepped forward – a tripwire.

A flame in your heart

The trap just ahead triggered, and flames spit from the thrower stationed against the wall, licking the skin on her forearms as she held them up to shield her face from their wrath. She stepped back almost immediately, and thankfully it was mostly quick enough to limit the damage done, so the burns on her forearms weren’t terribly severe but they were still painful enough to make her scream out in pain. The skin was already melted to some degree, holes appearing in it to reveal the muscle beneath; there was immediate swelling and both forearms turned a deep red.

She fell back on her ass, panting and resisting the urge to blow on the burned skin on her arms. If only there was a stimpack around here somewhere.

The song changed.

I say I’ll move the mountains
And I’ll move the mountains
If he wants them out of the way

After resting for only a few seconds, she brought herself to her feet, being careful not to touch her forearms on anything. Her movements were slow, but she kept going.

Crazy, he calls me
Sure, I’m crazy
Crazy in love, I’d say

“You’re not afraid of me now, are you?” the voice asked, this time coming from somewhere to her right. She quickly ducked down against a wooden wall, holding her breath so as not to make a noise while soft footsteps walked by, accompanied by the low music and the sound of metal dragging on concrete – a bat, one she’d almost been struck in the face with not even five minutes ago. But as much as she wanted to answer and scream and mock in return, she knew it was a bad idea – she was being hunted right now. She was prey. And making noise would reveal her position.

I say I’ll go through fire
And I’ll go through fire
As he wants it, so it will be

But as soon as the voice and music were far enough away, she pushed herself off the wall and darted in the opposite direction, passing by the now-disarmed flamethrower trap again. The music became muffled as her stalker increased in distance, but she wasn’t about to let her guard down.

Crazy, he calls me
Sure, I’m crazy
Crazy in love, I’d say

Another sharp left turn at the end of the hall almost brought her onto a bathroom scale trap – and she noticed it just in time to take a leap since she couldn’t stop her body fast enough. It sent her shoulder roughly into one of the metal walls, forcing a loud clang to echo throughout the enclosed space. The music got louder again.

Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I’ll do right now
The impossible will take a little while

She ran further to the left, going down another hallway and trying to tail around the hunter to avoid being spotted, wanting to just find the exit of this goddamn maze and get out of here. When she first woke up, she was told there were numerous exits but only one was open, and if she could just find that one, she was free to go – but she had to find it before the person hunting found her. There had already been too many close calls.

I say I’ll care forever
And I mean forever
If I have to hold up the sky

Turning the corner again revealed a ramp heading downward and the sight made her heart leap for joy and her breath hitch in her throat. She was quick to descend it, but just barely missed the tripwire that sat in the middle – and when she felt her toe connect with the thin piece of copper just like it had the other one, a bundle of grenades was released and rolled down the ramp together with a small clattering noise.

Crazy, he calls me
Sure, I’m crazy
Crazy in love, I’d say

She let out an audible gasp and ran back up the ramp to press herself against the wall at the top; the grenades went off in a quick succession of explosions, but she was relieved to find there weren’t any cars down there to have felt the blast and reacted.

Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I’ll do right now
The impossible will take a little while

The music got closer again, but she quickly descended the ramp once more – being sure to watch more closely for tripwires. She could almost taste her freedom; it wouldn’t slip from her grasp now.

I say I’ll care forever
And I mean forever
If I have to hold up the sky

Quickly, she ducked behind a low concrete wall that had a guardrail on top of it, trying to hide there as she caught her breath. The stalker was descending the ramp slowly while swinging the bat in their hand, and she heard their voice singing the last three lines of the Billie Holiday song.

“Crazy, he calls me. Sure, I’m crazy. Crazy in love, am I.” That was so much scarier than it should have been. “You sure you don’t wanna come out and just get this over with?”

With a pounding heart, she waited for the next song to start so she could keep track of the distance between them with the music. But this song had to be the worst.

Well, you can run like a rabbit, fly like a bee
No matter what you do, you’ll never get away from me
Because I’m right behind you baby

Teeth clamped down on her tongue as tears formed in her eyes and that hope of escaping and finding freedom had died deep in her chest. Would she really escape? Would she really get to leave this fucking maze? There were traps everywhere and she could barely see a fucking thing! How was she supposed to survive? How was this fair!?

Right behind you baby
Well, I’m right behind you baby
And you’ll never get away from me

With a deep breath, she pushed herself to stand again, but remained low to the ground. The music was further away now, probably across the maze, which made her feel a bit better since that meant she wasn’t going to be snuck up on from around the corner. But, still, there were more traps.

Well, you can make up your face, dye your hair
No matter what you do, turn around and I’ll be there
Because I’m right behind you baby

She traveled along a wooden wall when it joined up with a concrete one. There were boards all along the middle of the concrete part, but a tiny amount of light came in between some of them. When she peeked through, there was a chain link fence just on the other side of the wood – but also grass straight ahead, and that meant she was on the ground floor. Good. The exit should be nearby.

Right behind you baby
Well, I’m right behind you baby
And you’re never gonna get away

Spinning on her heels, she did a bit of backtracking before finding a previously untraveled pathway; it was another sharp turn that required avoiding some more tripwires and rounding a few more corners, but it drew her closer to the music – and now that she thought about it, the music hadn’t moved for a bit.

Well, you can go to the east, go to the west
The north and the south and all the rest

It was right on the other side of the wall, directly around the corner; but it was unmoving, and there wasn’t the sound of the metal bat being dragged across the concrete to accompany it. But the sight of moonlight shining on the ground – something that wasn’t in the other areas – caught her attention. This was the exit. It had to be.

You can bop at the hop, stroll across the floor
No matter what you do you’ll never get ‘em anymore

With a deep breath, she rounded the corner, prepared to face the hunter who’d trapped her in this damn parking garage. But there wasn’t anyone there. Instead, there was a closed door straight ahead and in front of it, a single folding chair with a pip-boy placed on its seat, music playing from the speaker and a white glow illuminating from its screen.

Well, you can fly through the clouds, sail on the sea
No matter what you do, you’ll never get away from me

Her stomach dropped.

Because I’m right behind you baby

“Thrill of the hunt, huh?” the voice came from behind her; the sound was low, and she didn’t even get a chance to register it and convince herself not to react before she spun on her heels.

Right behind you baby

She felt fear settle in her stomach as the hunter moved toward her, the bat settled over their shoulder as they drew closer; and she could only take steps back in response.

I’m right behind you baby

They made eye contact, her light blue eyes holding fear in them while the hunter’s royal blue ones holding a blazing fire of fury.

And you’re never gonna get away

And then a smile broke their face – slow and threatening, and it sent chills up her spine.

Woo, let’s go!

The bat lowered from the hunter’s shoulder and it was clutched it in both hands, knuckles turning white at the tight grip. “This is for Mason, you dumb bitch.” And by that point, it was already too late for her to do anything to defend herself.

It was a swing and a hit with a sickening crack.

Mason had taught Nora to hunt well.

Chapter Text

They’d been free for a few days thanks to Nisha and the Disciples, though Mason had only just now gotten some time to himself. After having been locked away in the tiny Parlor bathroom without even seeing the light of day more than once the entire time, getting tortured by Operators, and even having his body invaded and violated by Mags for her own sick pleasure, some personal time was a welcomed luxury.

Mostly.

Nora and Mason had made an agreement that he wouldn’t be the one to kill Mags; she’d given him a reason but he wasn’t fully there to listen, which might have actually been why, but she was off dealing with the Operators boss for the time being. He, on the other hand, was given the task of dealing with Gage – which would happen tomorrow.

For now, though, he needed to clean up.

Fizztop Grille was quiet without Nora, and despite all the furniture and workbenches inside the building, it never felt emptier. Still, he’d made his way to the storage room that was connected to the kitchen, having snatched both bathroom mirrors off the wall and propping one against a toolbox on a shelf beside a pair of scissors and a switchblade and the other on the wall directly behind him, allowing him to see the back of his head in the first mirror’s reflection.

Mason took the time to study his face in the cracked mirror, seeing someone he no longer recognized as himself. There was a longer mop of orange hair atop his head with a shorter and uneven cut on the sides, showing he hadn’t received a haircut in months; hell, he was even due for one by the time he and Nora had been captured. His beard had grown considerably but because some spots grew in quicker than others, it was longer on the sides, yet the color still matched the hair on his head. Dark circles were formed under his eye sockets from the little amounts of sleep he could gather each night and pale cheeks were sunken in from a lack of food and proper nutrition over his time in captivity. But worst of all were his eyes – even he could see they weren’t the same. They remained the same shade of green but the look in them was that of timidity, a trait that was not of the Alpha he’d been before.

All Mason could see of himself in the mirror was the shadow of the man he’d once been.

One hand raised to his head, running his fingers through the hair on top before he picked up the scissors and began to trim. He shortened it to a couple inches in length, identical to how he’d had it before; and ran his hand through it a couple times to make sure it was close enough. Once satisfied, he flopped it over to one side rather than brushing it straight back and ran his fingers through the shorter hair on the side of his head, seeing how uneven it was since he’d initially had buzzed stripes that traveled all the way around. For a moment, he debated returning his hair to that same look – but that look didn’t belong to him anymore. It belonged to Mason, Alpha of the Pack, not Mason, the broken man.

He couldn’t look the same if he wasn’t the same person.

So, instead, he clipped and clipped around the sides and back, using the mirror behind him to help see where and how short he was trimming until everything was the same length, aside from the longer part on top. He ran his hand through it again, feeling it out, making sure it all felt even before he settled on leaving it as it was.

Since Mags hadn’t let him shave – she never trusted him with scissors, let alone a blade, and rightfully so because he would have stabbed her fuckin’ eyes out – his beard was ferocious; it covered his upper neck, jaw, and the lower part of his cheeks in thick, orange fuzz that really only took a couple weeks to grow in full and start taking over his face. And it was slightly longer on the sides than on his chin since it grew in faster in some spots than others, which was… frustrating.

He thought about taking the blade to his face and had even gone so far as lathering up the coarse and uneven orange hair to shave the entire thing off and start anew, but when his thoughts drifted to Nora and how she’d threaded her fingers into it, how her pupils dilated upon seeing him with a beard, and how she’d grinned and scratched at his chin with her nails only to whisper how she liked his furry face – that was enough to make him reconsider. Instead, the only place he took the blade was to shave the hair around his throat, so the edge of his beard lined up at the point where his head connected with his neck. From there, he trimmed the rest, cropped it short, and left his mustache a bit longer to curl out like usual.

That part of him could stay the same – but nothing else.

Just like with the hair on his head, Mason ran his fingers through his beard, tugging it out as he tipped his head back to inspect his work, ensuring it was all even and looked right – and once satisfied, he set the scissors and blade down.

There was a large metal tub that resembled a gigantic bucket sitting nearby, something Nora had found in her travels and made him haul into the storage room so she could use it to bathe in. She’d even managed to set up some sort of water filtration and pipe system that snaked outside and pumped filtered water into the tub when needed; the specifics of it being something he didn’t understand but he certainly appreciated the fact there was water, nonetheless.

And he utilized it, filling the tub with the lukewarm liquid – it was never hot or cold, though that was probably due to how Nuka-World was only warm and never on either extreme – and stripping his clothes off after it was full.

But just as he was about to step into the water, he caught sight of his naked form in the mirror he’d attached to the wall. He was thin, ribs showing beneath his milky skin despite the muscle that covered his body – and even the muscle had seemed to lessen some. There were deep bruises on his shoulders, arms, and knees from being in awkward and painful positions for long periods of time, but luckily there didn’t seem to be any permanent damage that would limit him. New scars had appeared, however – a pink slash that went down from his right shoulder to his pectoral from where one of the Operators had dragged his body over a shard of glass while trying to haul him to the Parlor after knocking him out; one on his lower hip from where Mags had slid a knife into his skin after he wouldn’t listen to her – but that was early on in his capture, before…

His fingertips traced the scar, running over the raised skin as he observed the changes to his body. Everything Mags had done to him had broken him – physically and mentally and emotionally. He was no longer the strongest and smartest of the Pack; no, he’d submitted and went belly up and was now just a fragment of a man who finally learned his true place was at the bottom.

He didn’t deserve to be here. And he especially didn’t deserve to be with Nora.

Slowly, Mason stepped into the water before allowing himself to sink into it, sitting at the bottom; the displacement caused some of the liquid to pour over the top and onto the floor, though he paid it no mind. Instead, he sat still, the water up to just beneath his chest, as he stared down at his submerged hands.

They were filthy. His entire body was filthy. He’d washed days ago, but after fighting through Operator after Operator, raider after raider, and even Pack member after Pack member who’d abandoned their loyalty to him – not that he could blame them – he’d become filthy again.

But he’d especially gotten filthy after what Mags did to him.

He reached over to a small side table that was beside the tub, grabbing the bar of soap and cloth that sat upon it. He lathered the cloth up before running the fabric over his skin, leaving suds behind and watching the dirt wash away; but no matter how hard he scrubbed, it never felt clean enough.

Scrub, rinse, lather, repeat.

Scrub, rinse, lather, repeat.

Scrub, rinse, lather, repeat.

Mason’s skin turned a dark pink at the rough scrubbing, all the dirt and grime having been washed away the first time the cloth was brushed over each spot. But he still didn’t feel clean; Mags had dirtied him – she’d raped him and dirtied him and now he was fucking unclean forever. He’d scrubbed his arms and legs and chest and feet and still he never felt clean; it didn’t matter how many times he rubbed the cloth against his skin because nothing fucking worked.

And when he got to his groin – when he remembered how she’d touched him there as a way to taunt him and how she’d violated him, then left him to hang there in pain while feeling ashamed of the fact it even happened but especially ashamed of the fact he’d fucking cum from it – he knew he had to scrub. He had to.

And so he scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and it fucking hurt, but he couldn’t stop scrubbing. He needed to clean himself – he needed to clean the oil of her fingers from his skin and any remnant of her existence from his body – but with every look down at his arms or legs or chest or dick, he saw her: Mags. He saw her hands and face as she violated him, and he just needed to fucking scrub.

His body was red and sore, and his breath was ragged with anxiety by the time he felt an arm wrap around him while a hand went to his wrist beneath the water to stop the agonizing movements he’d been doing to himself. Mason froze, his breath catching in his throat for only a moment before the cage that had been containing his emotions finally broke and the pain of everything just ran free – the pain of being kept as a prisoner, being tortured, being used and raped… it had been caged like a fighting dog, ready to break free and bite anyone and everyone who got in the way.

And he just… cried.

“Shh, shh, you’re okay.” The voice was so soft and loving and he already knew who it belonged to – but the only thing he could do was lean into her chest. One of Nora’s hands went up to his hair, fingers threading through the shortened locks as she kissed the orange mess on his head. “I’m right here, pup. I’m here. It’s okay.”

When was the last time Mason had even cried? It was a foreign and unfamiliar feeling, one he often attributed to weakness but also one he could no longer avoid. After Mags had violated him, he’d felt tears on his cheeks, but that was it – and how much of that was due to the pain? But this, right here, was different. Now, he had no other choice but to welcome the tears as they flowed, pouring through the holes and cracks of the cage after its metal began chipping away piece by piece. But Nora was there to help keep it from bursting, and instead regulated the flow at a steady pace so she could piece him back together.

But he wasn’t worthy of that – he wasn’t worthy of her.

And yet, she seemed to think otherwise, because she stayed at his side, cradling him against her chest, brushing his hair and whispering soft things to him about how she was there, how she wasn’t leaving, and how much she loved him.

And that it wasn’t his fault.

He wasn’t sure how long she held him nor how long he cried, but the water had gone cold and his skin had gone from a beet red to a light pink by the time he felt comfortable enough to pull away. Nora let him, but her hands slid to his face instead, cupping the newly-cropped beard as she turned his head to make him look at her. And when green eyes finally met blue, she showed no care for the timidity in his face; instead, she spoke in a soft, comforting voice.

“I love you, Mason. Okay? Nothing will ever change that or make me love you any less.”

He furrowed his brow just slightly, his eyes flicking back and forth between hers, searching for the lies she was telling him – but he found none. Instead, he found sincerity and love and patience, and while he didn’t really know what to do with those things right now, he nodded.

“Okay.”

Chapter Text

Nora had coaxed him from the tub and into the bed where he was now pressed against her side with his head on her chest. One of her arms was draped around his broad shoulders, holding him close, while her free hand had her fingertips against his beard, gently rubbing over the trimmed hair he’d decided to keep.

It was comforting to finally lay with her – naked bodies relaxed together without even trying to have sex. They hadn’t gotten much alone time yet, only being free for less than a week while there was still plenty of work to be done. Nora had disappeared last night to deal with Mags, only to come back this evening just in time to catch him panicking in the tub; and after she’d calmed him down – after she’d reassured him he was safe and she was there for him – he felt a sudden wave of exhaustion.

He couldn’t sleep, though; not yet, anyway. So, instead, they laid there – naked, bodies tangled, and silent.

But Nora knew him well enough to know the silence wasn’t good for him. Maybe it was because he’d been staring off at the wall or because his fingers were digging into her side like he was gripping onto something for dear life as he tried to keep himself calm while he was lost in his own thoughts; but whatever the reason, she didn’t let him stew.

“She’s dead, Mason.” His breath hitched in his throat at Nora’s words. “I took her to the Milton parking garage in the Commonwealth and made her run a maze like a fucking rat. Told her there was only one exit and if she could find it, I’d let her go. And she found it, but I wasn’t about to let the bitch leave.” There was clear distaste in her mouth and slowly, Mason allowed himself to exhale, the air tickling against her chest. “I bashed her face in with a bat until she was unrecognizable then dumped her body near a mirelurk nest. Her carcass will be more useful to a queen than she ever was alive.”

The former-Alpha remained silent, thinking on the situation and allowing it to roll around in his head. Mags was finally gone – good. But she left behind trauma that still stung like a million giant needles in his arm pumping him full of a cocktail of chems, all intended to make him lose his fuckin’ mind. She’d destroyed him with a goddamn smile on her face, and no matter how many of those needles he and Nora yanked out, more always came to take their places. Even Mags’ death would never stop that.

Mason was broken.

Damaged.

“Hey.” Nora’s soft voice called him back; he furrowed his eyebrows as delicate fingers touched his chin and tipped his head up so he was looking at her – she had a worried expression on her face. “I know what it’s like to not want to be here, pup; to disconnect from everything going on around you.” Her thumb stroked the top of his beard where the hair began, and he almost melted into the touch. “You’re not alone in this. I promise.” But his eyes dropped away from her and he settled his head back down on her chest, allowing her words to rattle around in his head.

He was alone in this. She may have had to listen to what happened, but he was the one who had to experience it.

Silence hung in the air again for a long moment and Mason could only lay there and listen to her heartbeat, the soft thump, thump, thump bringing him some sort of comfort. They were grounding; keeping him there. It told him she was still with him.

Maybe Nora was what he needed to stay sane.

“I was seventeen,” she said abruptly, catching him off guard. The words seemed to come from nowhere. He furrowed his eyebrows again and turned his head up to look at her once more, studying her face. But this time, he was not greeted by those royal blues looking back at him; instead, she was staring up at the ceiling.

★★★★★

“It was late at night,” she continued, “And I was walking home from a friend’s house. It started to rain so I was rushing, but this car had stopped by me and the driver asked if I wanted a ride. I told him no and kept walking, but he followed me. So, I cut through a back alley trying to get away and thought I’d lost him, but not long after he surprised me around a corner, grabbed me, and shoved me in the back of his car. He…” Nora paused as she took in a shaky breath; she didn’t need to finish because he knew where the story was going, but she did anyway. “He raped me in the backseat, beat my face in so bad I had to get surgery, then left me in the middle of the road so I had to finish walking home afterward.”

★★★★★

The former-Alpha scooted up the bed a bit to let his head be even with hers, though he was propped up on his elbow rather than lying on the pillow like she was. One hand gently raised to cup her jaw, a thumb stroking over her cheekbone. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

But Nora shook her head even as her eyes met his. “I don’t want sympathy, just like I know you don’t. I just want you to know you’re not alone, as shitty as that is. I didn’t talk about what happened to me for a long time; didn’t tell any of my friends. My parents blamed me for it, said I shouldn’t have been wearing skimpy clothes and walking late at night. And for years, I blamed myself. Sometimes, I still do, until I catch those thoughts.” Nora raised her hand to place it atop his, then turned her face into his palm. “But I won’t let you blame yourself, pup. None of this was your fault.”

Slowly, the vaultie leaned up and pressed her lips to his in a gentle, loving kiss; holding it for a long moment before pulling away.

“How did you… get over it?” he asked quietly.

She thought about it for a minute before answering. “I had a lot of sex at first. Slept around because it gave me back some control over my body. That’s how I learned I like being dominant in the bedroom, too. That man took control from me and the one way I knew to get it back was by having someone else willingly give me theirs. After that? Therapy. A lot of it. But that’s not really an option out here.” Her hand lifted to brush her fingers through his beard absently.

“Think that would help me? Sex, I mean.”

Her hand froze as she studied his face. “I don’t know, pup. Everyone is different. I know you aren’t ready for the way we usually have sex, though. Giving me control over you wouldn’t be a good idea yet.” After she finished speaking, she began running her fingers through the coarse hair on his face again, her eyes dropping to focus on what her fingers were doing. Yeah, she definitely liked that he kept it. He was glad he did.

“What if… you gave me control over you?” he asked. Nora’s eyebrows furrowed at that, but she didn’t answer right away. Her silence, however, made him worry. “You ever done that?”

She nodded her head. “Yeah.”

“With who?”

“Nate.”

“Oh. No one else?”

“No, just him.” Mason wanted to ask if that meant she’d never do it again; if she didn’t trust him enough to let him try, but when her eyes flicked back up to his, one side of her mouth curved up into a half-smile. “I’ll give it to you one day. But you’re not ready yet. And you haven’t earned it, either.”

He smiled at the joke but wasn’t about to push the issue. “You have many people you dommed since you woke up?” he asked as he leaned in and placed a gentle kiss to her jaw.

Nora’s half-smile turned into a smirk at that point, though he didn’t see it yet. “A few, yeah. Like I said, sex is how I cope.”

“Yeah? Who was the one before me?”

“Nisha, actually.”

That made him pause and he pulled back with a surprised look on his face, head cocked. “Wait, Nisha? Really? Nah, don’t believe it.”

A laugh bellowed from her chest. “Yeah, I dommed Nisha. Or, well, I tried to. It only happened a couple times, but we didn’t exactly mix well in bed. She’s very… greedy and doesn’t play well with others, if you can imagine.”

Mason snorted and went back to kissing her jaw, trailing his lips down to her neck. “And what about before her?”

“Mm.” Her head tipped back for him. “Promise you won’t judge me?”

“Nope. Tell me anyway.” One of his hands had raised to her side, fingertips grazing over the skin and making her twitch just barely beneath the touch.

“Arthur Maxson.”

“Dunno who that is,” he mumbled against her skin.

“Big bad leader of the Brotherhood of Steel. I knew he was a sub the minute I looked at him.

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

His lips trailed to her throat and she sighed. “Because he was a twenty-year-old in charge of the most powerful military organization in the region. That much power meant a lot was expected of him and he just wanted a break. So, I gave him one every once in a while. There’s a common theme with powerful men liking to be bossed around in the bedroom.”

“Why are you so interested in my past subs, anyway? Hmm?” she asked. Mason’s lips were at her collarbone now, tongue dipping into the notch right in the middle.

“Just curious.” His hand slid down to her hip, palm flattening against the skin now.

Nora reached down and cupped his jaw in her hands, making him tilt his head up to look at her, which she then placed a gentle, loving kiss to his lips before pulling away. Their foreheads remained together after and she spoke to him in a soft tone. “You’ll know when you’re ready, pup. I promise. But you’re not just yet. But when you are, you can fuck the hell out of me, and I’ll give you my control. Okay?”

“Yeah. Okay.”

Chapter Text

Mason hadn’t felt this alive in months.

How long had it been since he’d had a hunt? Since he’d let someone run from him with nothing but panic and fear so they could hide among the bushes, buildings, ditches, and whatever else they could squeeze their bodies into while they held their breath and hoped he never found them?

Too fuckin’ long.

But now, with his combat shotgun rested against his shoulder, barrel pointed to the sky, he was on the prowl. He’d let Gage loose thirty minutes ago, giving him a head start before actually beginning to chase. It increased the chances his prey would find something to defend himself, sure, but that just made the hunt all the more exciting, and what Mason wanted right now – what he needed – was fuckin’ excitement.

He left Nuka-Town USA through the northern exit, green eyes scanning the horizon as he listened closely to the wind whistle around him, sweeping leaves and paper through the air. Footprints were on the ground, just barely imprinted into the trash and debris that littered the area – but still enough for him to see and track. The former-Alpha crouched down to the balls of his feet, finger nudging a paper cup away from part of the print in front of him as he examined its shape and depth, then followed the direction it traveled with his eyes.

Gage was reckless.

Footsteps approached him from behind though he didn’t turn to look; instead, he motioned with his hand for her to join him on the ground. There was a slight creak of leather and gentle fingers were placed on the top of his thigh before they slid to the inside of it as she steadied herself in a crouched position beside him.

“That him?” Nora asked.

“Yeah,” he confirmed, “He’s gettin’ scared. You see that one?” Mason pointed to the footprint further ahead. The vaultie squinted her eyes but confirmed she saw it and he swiped his finger in the air between the print directly in front of them and the one slightly further away that he’d just been pointing at. “He’s runnin’. Prints are heavier and further apart, and Gage ain’t that tall.”

He could almost feel the grin spread across her face before his eyes even lifted to look at her, meeting her gaze. “Good.” The hand that was on the inside of his thigh shifted up to his jaw, her palm pressing against the underside of it as her fingers curled around his jowls and she pulled him forward, meeting him halfway to press their lips together in a kiss.

Mason made a soft noise against her lips, his body inching forward as his free hand – the one not holding his gun – went to her thigh, sliding up it. She nipped his bottom lip and he granted her access to the inside of his mouth, their tongues dancing for a few moments before Nora finally pulled away just enough to break the kiss, though their faces remained close. “He should be scared,” she added, her tone having dropped to a whisper, “He is being hunted by a wolf, after all.” A grin spread across his face and he saw her eyes drop to his beard, her fingers gently threading into the short, coarse, orange hairs that covered his jaw. “You know, I am really loving this look. It’s fuckin’ sexy.”

“Yeah, I can tell you are. You keep kissin’ me and touchin’ my face.”

His hand slid further up her thigh and those blue eyes flicked back up to his green ones; her tongue darted out to wet her lower lip and he wanted to fuckin’ bite at it. “I know. Gotta control myself or I might just end up fucking you sooner than I thought.” A low rumble bellowed from deep in his chest; her hand slid up to his cheek and she patted it before she stood. “Come on, pup. Let’s get going.”

They followed the tracks as they curved around Nuka Island on the side of Kiddie Kingdom. Nora stayed close to him, but he took the lead – it was his hunt, after all, and she was only there because he’d asked her to be. He wanted her to see what he was going to do to Gage but also wanted to be near her, especially after last night; and, most importantly, he wanted to teach her how to track.

After all, his mate needed to know how to track prey when she hunted at his side.

A set of ant hills were up on their right and Nora’s nose crinkled when she noticed them. As they passed, she kept her eyes on the mounds, scanning for any movement and keeping her head turned so they stayed in her view while they were at a certain distance. Mason only noticed what she was doing because she ended up bumping into his arm, apparently unable to walk a straight line with her head turned in a different direction. But she played it off like it never happened.

“So, how did you even learn to do this stuff, anyway?” she asked.

“What stuff?”

“Tracking.”

“Mm. My family was part of a gang back in the Capital Wasteland. We all learned how to hunt and sold the meat.”

“Oh, I see,” she said, nodding slightly. And then something seemed to sink in. “Wait, wait, wait. You’re not telling me something. Why would raiders choose to work for a living when that’s literally the antithesis of what being a raider is?”

“What we hunted ain’t exactly smiled upon by the general populace.”

There was silence for a moment before he heard Nora stop walking and he knew his words had finally clicked in her head. Mason stopped, as well, and turned to face her, noticing her eyebrows were slightly furrowed in thought as she studied him from where she stood. “You hunted people?” she finally asked with a curious tone, though it seemed like it was more for clarification than anything else. It didn’t give away what she thought of the concept of hunting, killing, and skinning humans to sell the meat, however — especially when he had done it.

“Yeah, kitten, we did. Still do. Whaddaya think we’re doin’ right now?”

“… Huh.” The high-pitched noise came from her throat, but she left it at that, slightly nodding her head a couple times as she just kept walking, not saying another word on the matter. Well, alright. At least she wasn’t repulsed.

They passed up an overturned car on top of a brahmin though Nora seemed to pay it no mind, apparently more disgusted by the possibility of giant ants than a dead two-headed cow – which was understandable. The bugs in this place were fuckin’ nasty and vicious.

It wasn’t long before they were following the tracks straight toward Safari Adventure, and Mason crouched down near one to check it and make sure they were going in the right direction. It was pretty fuckin’ ironic that was where Gage chose to run to.

Nora stopped near him as he was crouched but remained standing. “In there?” she asked, motioning to the opening in the concrete wall.

“Yeah. Weren’t you payin’ any attention to the tracks?”

“Oh. Yeah, no, sorry, I lost interest in them, so I was watching your ass instead.”

He just rolled his eyes but couldn’t help the smirk on his lips. “Well, why don’t you let me watch your pretty ass walk through those gates, yeah?”

“Fine, but only because I am choosing to since I do not take orders from you,” she said with a childish tone. But just as the vaultie began walking past him, he swatted her ass, the loud clap echoing off each surface around them and into the expanded distance. She made a light yelp in response and shot a glare back at him, but there was no real heat behind her eyes. “That is not watching!”

“Oh, sorry,” he said as he stood, “I lost interest in watchin’ and wanted to touch.” Nora pursed her lips and Mason allowed a grin to stretch across his face. “C’mon, kitten. We got some prey to catch.”

But as they grew closer to the gates, the sound of fighting became more apparent. Nora had pulled her plasma rifle from her back and Mason had his combat shotgun in one hand, barrel pointed to the ground but ready to be used. They went through the opening and into Safari Adventure, only to be met with—

What the fuck was that?

A half-naked man who was definitely not Gage was fighting with something that looked like a deathclaw, only… not? The thing was about the same size as one but had dark green scales on top and a brownish-green fleshy underbelly; its head was flat and long whereas a deathclaw’s head was short and wide; there were no horns atop its head, either, and the very clear absence of big ass claws was almost a relief.

And whoever the guy was, he was kickin’ that thing’s fuckin’ ass.

A sledgehammer smacked the lizard in the face, sending it stumbling to the side and almost down the steps of the concrete they were standing on. Mason raised his shotgun and cocked it before unloading, slowly walking forward with each shot. Nora was behind him and slightly to the side doing the same, the green balls of plasma from her rifle hitting the beast at an angle, most of them landing on its soft underbelly and soaking into the skin. And as the creature was distracted while scratching at a plasma burn on its chest, the half-naked man raised his sledgehammer and slammed it down on the beast’s foot, releasing a sickening crunch from its toes, followed by a pained hiss.

That had to hurt.

But a few more shots from both his and Nora’s guns had the lizard on the ground, lifeless. Slowly, Mason approached the man, but was quick to glance around just to see if Gage was nearby. After feeling confident the half-blind raider wasn’t about to jump out at them from behind an overgrown bush, Mason returned his attention back to the one in front of him, his gun still raised and aimed, just in case. Nora had come up behind him, her plasma rifle still in her hands but the barrel pointing at the ground.

“New friend help kill monster,” the man before them said. Nora and Mason glanced at one another, eyebrows furrowed, before returning their gazes back to him.

“Uh… what?” she asked.

“You, new friend. You help kill monster.” He pointed at the green beast on the ground.

“Oh.” Nora nodded her head slowly. “Yep. We, uh… we helped kill that.”

“Me, Cito.”

“… Is that… your name?”

“Yes,” he confirmed.

“Oh, alright. Well, I’m Nora and this is Mason. We’re, uh… we’re looking for someone.”

“New friend help Cito family?”

“No, no, we can’t do that,” she declined as she shook her head, “We’re looking for a guy who came throu—”

“Cito family in danger.” The frustration on her face was growing, no doubt.

“Yeah, that really sucks but have you seen—”

“New friend help Cito family, Cito help new friend.”

It was then Mason chanced a look over to Nora, seeing her lips pursed while her fingers were gripping her rifle like she was debating on shooting the guy in the head; he had to use every ounce of strength within himself to keep from laughing. Hell, there was even a red color that was rising up her neck from her frustration.

“Cito,” she said.

“New friend,” he answered.

There was a slight huff from the former-Overboss. “Look, we’re trying to find someone who came through here and it’s really important we find him.”

“New friend help Cito family.”

“You’ve said that but—”

“Then Cito help new friend.”

“Oh, my fucking god. I’m just gonna kill him.” Nora raised her rifle and Cito responded with raising his sledgehammer, but Mason reached his hand over and put it on top of her gun, gently pushing it down.

“Relax, kitten. Let’s check it out, yeah? Maybe his family’s seen Gage, and he definitely can’t have gone far in here with all them things runnin’ around.”

“Jesus fucking fine. Where is your goddamn family, jungle boy?”

Cito beamed with a grin on his face despite the insult and anger that was leaking from the woman in front of him, then waved his hand for the two to follow. Any other time, Mason probably would have just killed the dumb bastard or let her kill him, but this was just too fuckin’ funny to let it go. Hell, it was sort of a relief compared to how the last few months had gone. Besides, Gage was here somewhere, assuming he hadn’t gotten eaten by one of the giant lizards yet.

They followed Cito through a back-alley area and into a cage, running into another one of those damn lizards; but it didn’t take long to kill it since there were three of them making the blows. Still, the thing was just lying on the fuckin’ floor like it was waiting around for something to crawl into its mouth.

After moving through the other side of the cage, they began heading toward a building. “Monsters strong. New friend stronger. Cito like new friend.”

“Oh, yeah, sure. We’re best friends now,” she grumbled.

Cito opened the door to the building and the three of them went inside, only to be greeted by… a handful of ghoulrillas? Mason had one back at the amphitheater but that had been caught not long after they arrived in Nuka-World; they’d found it roaming around by itself. After catching it, he’d spent some time with the ape and now it was nothing but friendly to everyone – strangely enough. But the moment Cito began making, uh… monkey-type noises at the ghoulrillas, Mason thought Nora was going to explode.

“This Cito family. Need help stop monsters.”

“Sorry, hold on. Maybe I missed the part where you said your family is a bunch of apes?” Her rifle had been slung around her shoulder just a moment ago, but he could tell she was ready to take it back off.

“Not know ‘apes.’ Know family.”

“Yes, your family is a bunch of fucking apes.”

“New friend take shiny thing, help stop monsters.”

“Jesus goddamn Christ, I’m helping Tarzan. What the fuck are you making me do, Mason?”

“Dunno who Tarzan is, kitten, but this is fuckin’ hilarious.”