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Daryl likes the nighttime. Likes the stillness and the inexplicable way the air becomes that much clearer. The noises that set most people’s hair on end aren’t strange or unknown to him – he can tell a raccoon from a deer from a walker by the sound of their footsteps as easily as others can by sight. He knows the constellations and the stories behind them, and he keeps track of the phases of the moon. He’s good at guessing the time of year, when many others have lost track of whether it’s May or April.

Jesus knows all this because Daryl has told him so, in one way or another. These revelations were slow to come, but he is nothing if not patient.

He knows other things too. Other little secrets. Things that would be dull or trivial to most are precious to him.

Daryl’s favorite color is green. His favorite subject in school was math, because he was good at it. He can carve clever little things out of wood, but he gets uncomfortable when people comment on it. He can fall asleep just about anywhere, and he’ll eat just about anything – the only exception to this rule so far being stale black licorice (Jesus is alright with this - more candy for him). He’s never had a dog, but he's always wanted one. His mother’s name was Jeanie and she died when he was eight. She drank too much, but she also told him stories about Appalachia and the people she knew there growing-up. His brother was an asshole, and the last person Daryl believes loved him. He knows Daryl’s father was worse than an asshole or a drunk. He knows exactly who taught him to flinch, and to never trust, and who gave him the worst of his scars. Jesus knows where most of the other scars came from, too.

Those last things they don’t talk about much, but he’s sure of them all the same.

So when they sit the way they are right now - shoulder to shoulder, on the porch out front of the house they share with their friends – Jesus knows what it means. Actions speak louder than words when it comes to Daryl, and personal space and privacy are things he guards fiercely. The fact that Daryl would press close enough to share body heat after spending a considerable chunk of the evening at a dinner party with most of Alexandria… that’s more meaningful than any number of words or confessions he’s been able to draw out of Daryl.

People are beginning to filter out of Aaron and Eric’s house now, mostly families with kids. They wander by in twos and threes, and Daryl doesn’t move from where they’re sitting. When Carl walks past with Judith in his arms, Jesus gives them a little wave goodnight. Daryl snubs out what’s left of his cigarette, and slips his freed hand over Jesus’. He lets their fingers lace together, and gives a little squeeze. His hand is broad and blunt and warm. They’re sitting so close that Jesus doubts anyone could see it from the street. He smiles; another secret, then.

The evening is quiet, save for the buuurr-ki-ki-kikikiki cries of the seventeen-year cicadas in the trees. They’ve both had more than a bit of wine, and Jesus imagines it’s turned his blood warm and syrupy in his veins. It feels that way, at least. It’s easy to rest his head against Daryl’s shoulder. It’s even easier to turn so that his lips brush Daryl’s ear.

“It’s getting late, maybe we should turn in?” he all but whispers, even though there’s no one around to hear. It’s a bit of a lie – it can’t be past ten-thirty by their reckoning – but Daryl grunts and nods all the same. When he stands he pulls Jesus up to his feet with him.

Their house is dark and still. The core members of their family seem to be lingering at the get-together, which means it could be hours before Tara and Denise are home. They don’t bother with lights until they reach their room, and even then he only flicks on the one, just enough to bathe their little space in a warm yellow glow. The bed is still a mess, and a pair of coffee mugs sit on the nightstand, leftover from that morning. Daryl’s crossbow has been allocated to one of the expensive chairs in the corner, sat upright and proper like a spoiled cat. Jesus has laid out his knives on the vanity with his collection of books and CDs. It’s eclectic and intimate and a little bit messy, but so very much them that Jesus has to smile a bit. It’s taken a while for them to get to this comfortable, domestic place, and for a moment, he lets himself soak it in. He gets sentimental when he drinks.

Their wide picture window looks out over the back garden. Jesus can only catch little glimpses of the stars between shifting black treetops, but he shuts the blinds anyway, closes them in together to do as they please, what’s left of the world be damned. When he turns back around, Daryl Is watching him.

The sound of his breath catching seems horribly loud against the quiet of the house, but perhaps Daryl will take it as a compliment. Daryl’s stripped down to an undershirt, and his jeans are still on, but he’s kicked his boots off to one side. Something about his bare feet sunk into the deep white carpet looks vulnerable, and he holds his flannel in one hand as if Jesus might tell him to put it back on.

God, he’d have to be crazy.

The light is dim enough that Jesus can’t make out the blue of Daryl’s eyes, but there’s a quiet intensity in them that’s plain enough to see. This part of things – the moments between wanting and having – can be so hard for him. Sometime, years and years before they met, someone taught him not to ask. Jesus wonders if it ever actually saved him any hardship.

Now that they’ve locked eyes, it’s hard for Jesus to look away, and he closes the distance between them without thinking. His hands find Daryl’s arms and slide slowly upwards, light and undemanding. Daryl is still as stone, but his skin is warm, and his biceps are wonderfully firm against Jesus’ splayed fingers. It’s easy to run them over his shoulders, and up to cup Daryl’s face between his palms. It’s even easier to press a kiss to his lips. They’re of a height, Jesus only has to tilt his head a little, and everything just slides into place. It’s gentle and intimate, and Daryl drops his shirt in favor of taking Jesus’ narrow hips in hand. He pulls them close together, and lets out a long, shaky breath against his cheek.

Daryl’s lips are warm and just a little chapped. He smells like the cheap soap they use, and the cigarette he smoked earlier. Jesus can feel Daryl’s pulse pick up against the pads of his thumbs, and his own rises to meet it when Daryl slides his rough hands under Jesus’ shirt. His fingertips skirt across the small of Jesus’ back, and then one hand dips lower, below the waistband of his pants .

They’ve spoken all of four sentences to one another in the last half hour, and most of those were courtesy of Jesus. This sort of communication, though, seems to come naturally to Daryl, even after his words run out. He knows just when to pull their hips flush, so that Jesus can’t help but gasp a little. His tongue runs along Jesus’ lip, slow and soft and it presses just a little bit inside where he’s suddenly, wonderfully sensitive.

Jesus doesn’t try to stop the moan it pulls out of him, and Daryl doesn’t miss the opportunity to lick his way inside him. They meet halfway, and for a long moment all he can focus on is the wet slide of tongues and how hard it’s getting to keep steady. There’s a sweet ache beginning to grow low in his belly, and he leans just a little bit more against Daryl’s solid frame.

When they break apart, it’s only by inches. Daryl’s lips are more than a little swollen, and his breath comes out in a warm rush against Jesus’ wet mouth. They’re so close that it’s hard for him to focus on Daryl’s face, but he tries anyway. Daryl’s eyes are a hazy blue, and he’s smiling just a little bit. He looks calmer than he has all evening.

“So,” It’s Daryl who breaks the silence this time, his voice is low and husky. “You said something ‘bout turning in?”

“Just one of the many, many steps in my plan to have you ravage me,” Jesus grins against his lips. “I think it’s working.”

“Hmm, don’t know about that…” And to Jesus’ dismay, he steps out of their embrace. Daryl is smiling, though, wider than he ever seems to do in public, and his posture is straight and just a little cocky. It’s wonderful what being reminded that he’s simply (carnally) wanted can do to Daryl. “Here I was, just gettin’ tired…”

Jesus takes a step towards him, and Daryl takes another back, his smile is playful now and the tilt of his chin more than a little challenging. For a consummate hunter, he certainly likes to be chased. Daryl lets himself be backed up against their bed. The low light hits him so prettily, makes his tan skin look all that much more golden against the white of his undershirt, that Jesus feels a little surge of possession run through him.

“Let me see you,” he says, and with nowhere for him to go, it’s easy for Jesus to move in towards Daryl, close enough to pull the undershirt out from the waistband of his jeans. He pushes his hands up, up, up. Jesus’s palms trace skin, the fabric is an afterthought bunched up against his wrists.

Daryl’s chest is paler than his arms, his stomach is a smooth landscape; shallow dips between the gentle swell of muscle and soft enough to squeeze. He practically has to peel the taut material over his broad shoulders. He does it slowly, runs his thumbs over his nipples just to feel the little shiver it pulls out of him. Daryl lets him explore, and raises his arms when Jesus goes to tug the fabric completely off.

The undershirt is forgotten, tossed off to the side. “God,” says Jesus, because what else is there to say when you’re faced with a sight like that? He traces his blunt nails over Daryl’s nipples again; he wants to feel him shuddering, and he gets it.

Daryl tolerates it for a moment before his hands are on Jesus’ hips again, so when he falls back onto the bed Jesus goes with him. Its enough to pull a laugh out of both of them, and Jesus shifts until he's half on top of Daryl.

Their laugher tapers off into heavy breaths, hot and intimate in such close quarters. Jesus slides a thigh between Daryls' and find him hard and arching against the fabric of his pants. A heady fission of pleasure shoots down through Jesus’ gut, and there’s nothing left to do but press his mouth down hard against Daryls’. They’re safe and warm in their room, their sheets are still messed from the morning and the familiar scent of them lingers there. Daryl can relax here.

His fingers are coarse as they trail up Jesus' spine, hitting the halfway mark and then making their way back down to the swell of his ass. Jesus is caught between pressing down against the hard line of Daryls’ cock and pressing back against his hands. It's intense and dirty, and his hips stutter against his lover’s grasp. Daryl moans, and presses back against him, and soon they find their rhythm. Once, Jesus figured that dry-humping had lost its appeal somewhere around high school, but he’s reconsidered that opinion with Daryl. He feels like a teenager again when this happens; desperate and somewhat out of control. He doesn’t know exactly what he wants at times like these – he’s thirty-three years old and sometimes mindless frottage still seems like a perfectly viable option.

Luckily for Jesus, Daryl decides for him. His head tilts until his lips find Jesus’ again and when they do they’re warm and dry, at least until his tongue enters the equation. It’s hard to do anything but kiss. Daryl learned all his weak points months ago; he knows how to press his hips up against Jesus's, how he likes his ass groped and his hair tugged at. Jesus made a point of telling him, and Daryl is a fast learner. The heady spark of pleasure in Jesus’s stomach is quickly growing into a flame; hot and undeniable. He sighs, and Daryl presses his tongue against Jesus's, hot and slick and sexual, a mirror of another act.

He spreads his legs to make a cradle, Daryl doesn’t hesitate to sink into it.

God.

Suddenly all Jesus can feel is his cock. All he can smell is the smoke in Daryl's hair, and the leather he wore all day. Jesus knows it’s the alcohol - he hadn’t had a drink in weeks – but more than that it’s the accumulation of everything that’s happened to them in the last few months. All the runs, the close calls, the shootouts, the war that took so many of them. Something instinctive and possessive has taken control, and he doesn’t care enough to stop it anymore.

Most nights Daryl would hesitate. He'd let up, just enough for Jesus to flip their situation if he wanted to. Usually Jesus would consider it, but tonight he lets himself go lax and docile, pulls Daryl further into the clasp of his thighs and opens his mouth in easy submission. Their kiss deepens, wet and passionate. All he can do is moan against the tongue sliding against his, and he's met with a low grumble in return.

“What – what do you need?” He gasps. By some miracle it's actually coherent, and Daryl groans again.

“God – jus’ – just you,” Daryl says, husky, and that sends another flurry of pleasure through Jesus. His hips twitch, and even through four layers of fabric the sensation sends his blood rushing. “Paul- fuck.”

“Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me,” he gasps. He's definitely drunk and completely unimaginative, but he can’t think of anything else to say right now. His world has been reduced to pleasure under the weight of his lover, and the heat of his dick. Daryl is the only one who’s called him ‘Paul’ since before everything went to hell, and it’s intimate enough to still take him by surprise. He can't quite describe what it does to him, the mingling of old, familiar safety (his childhood and his mother when she loved him) and Daryl (someone dangerous to nearly everyone save for Paul)

The growl he gets in response is nothing short of animalistic; low and wanting. Its hard to breathe under him but Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way. Daryl slides his hands down between them to fumble at the button of Jesus’s flies. Paul isn’t sure how he gets them undone so quickly when he can barely concentrate on anything but kissing, but soon his jeans and boxers are missing and Daryl’s have gone with them.

“Christ,” Says Daryl. “where's the lube, sweetheart?.”

The lube is in the nightstand , just like it always is, and Daryl is quick to uncap it. By now they’re both too desperate to worry about foreplay or comfort, and Jesus couldn’t care less when the fingers that trail their way down his abs are chilly. They warm up fast enough when they reach the heat between his thighs.

This is the part Jesus fantasized about in during the boring parts of his day. The thick, blunt fingers and deep breaths. The little noises Daryl lets slip that Paul's sure that only he has been privy to. The lube warms up quickly enough, and his fingers slip into him easily; thick and careful. They’ve done his before, plenty of times, and Daryl’s touch finds his prostate like it's meant to be there. He can’t even moan for the feeling of it; the bone-deep ache and the closeness.

Daryl pulls back. His pupils are blown when he gazes down at Paul, at his gasping mouth and the helpless furrow between his brows.

“Please,” Says Paul. “please, I need...”

“Don’t need ta' ask twice,” He says. Paul's skin is warm and pricked with sweat when he presses his lips to it. He lets Daryl kiss at his chest, across his peaked nipples and down, down, down his stomach, to where his hair is dark and tightly curled. His cock meets his lips somewhere below Paul's bellybutton.

He starts off slowly, pressing a wet kiss to the underside of the head and licking a broad strip up to Paul's tender slit. Paul twitches against his tongue and Daryl sucks him in with a moan. It’s hard not to whimper when the tip of Daryls’ tongue laps at his leaking precum. He moves so slowly that Paul can’t help but squirm beneath him, hitching his hips and trying in vain to push further into Daryls’ mouth. Daryl huffs a laugh from between his legs, and twists his fingers inside Paul. He pushes them in until his knuckles are flush with Paul's skin, and repeats the motion. The friction and the deep aching pleasure of penetration combined with Daryl's tongue is almost to much to bear, and Paul can’t help but whimper. Daryl groans in sympathy and sucks Paul down deeper. His mouth is hot and tight, and doesn’t linger for nearly as long as it needs to, before Paul is left bereft of it.

His cock isn’t cold for long, however; Daryl's hand soon replaces it and his mouth trails down to Jesus’s balls. He pulls him slowly, his fingers tight and slick with saliva and precum. Paul lets lose a helpless noise and pushes into the grip while Daryl's lips and tongue trail over the swell of his testicles. He sucks one into the heat of his mouth, and then the other, pulling them taut and laving gently. Paul is caught between the two sensations and he whimpers, groping blindly until Daryl's free hand clasps his own. Daryl groans, and the sounds rumbles up through Paul’s core. His cock twitches again, spurting precum against Daryl's fingers and his own belly.

“God,” Paul chokes out. “please, Daryl.

“Sorry – sorry...” Daryl chuckles against the loose skin of his balls. Soon the heat of his mouth has moved back upwards to his cock, sucking gently. Daryl presses down against him, until Paul's swollen head bumps against the back of his throat. It’s tight and hot, and combined with Daryl's fingers it’s all Paul could ask for. He clutches desperately at Daryl’s hair, and Daryl happily complies with his unspoken request, sinking down, down, down until his nose is nearly buried in Paul’s curls.

Daryl spreads his fingers inside Paul, dragging them against his prostate and the tender skin of his rim. Paul is slick and open by now; legs shaky and hips twitching helplessly against Daryl’s ministrations. Paul’s whimpers have taken on a helpless edge, and Daryl groans in sympathy. His hips rise and fall in a steady rhythm, and Daryl takes him in so eagerly that Paul repeats the motion once, then again. Daryl coughs and pulls back for air, his hand squeezes tight and gives him something to pull back against. His undulations are quickly becoming desperate, and Daryl must sense it because he works his fingers in deep again, and suddenly his thumb is against the sensitive skin behind Jesus' balls, pressing down while the fingers inside push upwards.

Paul doesn’t even have a chance to gasp out a warning before he comes.

“I – oh God. Daryl, oh fuck!” his voice is breathy and embarrassingly high. His cock tries desperately to twitch in the hot confines of Daryl's mouth. Rather than pull back Daryl presses down as far as he can, his throat tight around the swollen head of Paul's cock. It’s intense and sweet, to feel Daryl swallow him down with a low, reverberating groan, and even when he has to pull off for air he catches the last of Paul's orgasm on his tongue.

“Come here – up,” Paul chuckles, giddy in the haze of climax. He's far too sensitive to bear much more stimulation, so he tugs at Daryl's hand instead until he crawls up the bed to meet him. He feels empty when the fingers leave him, but it only serves to remind him of what is still to come.

Daryl's kiss is slick with semen and Paul pushes into it eagerly. He was the one who taught Daryl this (along with plenty of other things) and it never fails to send a little frission of excitement through him, even if his body is in no state to respond to it. It’s a stark reminder of how far they've come from the start of their relationship, when sex was something hurried and embarrassing for Daryl, a deed best left for the dark following a bad run or sudden death.

Now, Daryl is happy to feed him his own cum in the low light of their bedroom, for no other reason than that he knows Paul likes it. They kiss in the lazy afterglow until Paul starts to feel as though he might fall asleep if he doesn’t move soon. That would be a terrible shame, so he pushes himself up enough to get a proper look at the man lying next to him.

Daryl is flushed with sex, even though Paul hasn't properly touched him yet. It blooms high on his cheeks and trickles down to the pale skin of his chest. Paul has always liked the contrast, and the gleam of sweat picked up by the low light. His nipples are peaked, and when he runs his palm over a pec Daryl lies back to let Paul explore. His breath is slow and easy now, like Paul’s, but expectation still lingers between them. Daryl squirms under his fingertips as he trails them down through the scant hairs on his chest to his belly. He pushes himself up to rest on his elbows, and runs a broad, calloused hand along Paul's thigh. His touch is light and unhurried, and Paul mirrors the touch, running his hand up to the crease of Daryl's groin.

His cock is ruddy and thick, resting against his thigh and still half-swollen from their previous sex. Paul cups the tender skin of his testes and Daryl sighs when he works them with a gentle grip. His cock twitches, plumping up just a bit more, and Jesus can’t help but lean forward to press a kiss just below the head, and then against the root of him. He smells like soap and something dark and animal, and its always been enough to make Paul's blood rush. Daryl's fingers twitch against him, and Paul runs his tongue back up the broad shaft. He shifts over onto his hip and takes his cock in one hand, pumping him and pulling his foreskin back to press his lips to Daryl's head. Daryl is growing rapidly now within Paul's grip, thick but not too long. He's hot when Paul takes him into his mouth, but not hard enough for the head to be fully exposed, so Paul slides his tongue beneath the skin and around the crown until Daryl whimpers.

Paul relents, and pulls back to pay closer attention to his balls, taking one and then the other into his mouth. He sucks gently, and pumps lazily at Daryl's shaft.

Suddenly, there’s an arm beneath Paul's waist, dragging his hips up towards the head of the bed. It pulls a laugh out of him, and Daryl chuckles in return.

“Stop it, I've had mine,” Jesus protests weakly, even as he helps Daryl shimmy him into a more comfortable position. Daryl's only response is to slap his ass, and soon Paul is lain out on his side next to him, his crooked thigh forming a ready pillow.

He doesn’t waste any time putting his mouth back on Daryl; he's thick and hard by now, his foreskin retracted around the fat head of his cock, and Paul drags his tongue along the prominent ridge. It’s easy to suck him like this, and though he isn’t quite recovered from earlier, Paul can feel want kindle low in his belly.

Daryl buries his head between Paul's thighs, his beard rasping at the soft skin there and sending shocks up his spine. He presses noisy kisses and love bites into the firm flesh, before dragging Jesus’s hips towards him and nipping at his ass. Paul takes the opportunity to pull Daryl fully into his mouth and sucks gently. He can’t stop himself from whimpering at Daryl’s touch, and Daryl mirrors the sound. Paul isn’t sure if the sound comes in response to his mouth or his ass, but knowing that it’s him that’s drawing such moans from Daryl sends shivers of pleasure through him.

He doubles his efforts, taking Daryl as far back in his throat as he can before he has to draw away for air, and then doing it all over again. Daryl’s tongue is warm and wet, laving at the swell of flesh beneath his balls and nipping gently at his ass, before he buries his face properly. He’s still wet and loose, wonderfully sensitive after the attention Daryl paid him. He can’t stop the whimpers that spill out of him as Daryl’s clever tongue licks around the furrowed muscle of his hole, and then pushes in, deep and intimate, his hot breath rushing against Paul’s skin.

It’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand with a tongue so deep inside him, but Jesus does what he can, relaxing his jaw and groping blindly at the muscular swell of Daryl's ass. Paul lets him sink down into his throat until he’s libel to choke, and pulls off with a long, slow suck.

“God, Daryl,” He murmurs, his breath heavy. “Fuck me.”

He’s well aware that he’s repeating himself, but grinds his hips down anyway. Daryl pushes back against him, bucking his hips up even as he pushes his tongue in deep. His hands are on Paul's ass, spreading him wide and kneading at his flesh. Paul is whimpering by now, and draws back far enough to moan outright when Daryl presses two thick fingers back into his flushed hole. It’s almost too much, and Jesus can’t help but push down further on Daryl’s swollen cock, not caring now if he chokes on the thick head.

Daryl stilled his hips, letting Paul do as he pleases while he slides his fingers back into his lover's slick hole. He spreads his fingers against the lax muscle, and presses his tongue between them.

“Want you,” Daryl grunts, drawing back and licking along the muscular swell of Paul’s ass. He's like steel on his tongue. "God, sweetheart, need you so bad…”

“You've got me. You've always got me,” Paul replies, pulling away from his engorged flesh. He gropes for the bottle of lube they’d tossed aside earlier. “Come on, please.”

He presses the lube into Daryls hand, and shifts until he’s on his knees. He’s hard again, neglected and leaking at the tip. His hole is almost painfully sensitive, grasping around nothingness and begging to be filled again.

Paul finds himself on his belly, his hips tilted up in plain offering and his head buried in his folded arms. It’s not like him to take such a passive role during sex; usually it’s a playful give and take, and these days more often than not Paul winds up on top in the end. Tonight, however, with the warmth of alcohol still thrumming through his veins, it’s easy to give himself up, laid out bare and wanting.

Daryl groans at the sight, and Paul has been in his shoes enough times to know exactly what draws the sound out of him. He knows how open he must be, ruddy with blood and arousal and ready to be fucked. His cock hangs heavy and pink between his legs, and Daryl runs his fingers along it as he makes his way to Paul’s slick hole. Paul can only shudder and push back against the touch.

“Please, god…” he whimpers, and from behind him he can hear the bottle of lube snap open. It seems to take forever for Daryl to warm the slick and rub it into his cock, and onto Paul.

“Want you,” Paul moans, too far gone to care. “I want you so bad. God, Daryl, fuck me.”

“God, Paul,” Daryl groans behind him, running his hand up over Paul's ass to the small of his back. From the slick, wet noises Paul knows that he’s touching himself. He tilts his hips up further, tensing and relaxing and letting himself open up. Daryl moans again, and suddenly the blunt head of his cock is at Paul's hole, pushing inwards.

Paul shoves back to meet him, breathing deep and opening up around the thick crown of Daryl's cock. Daryl's hand, still slick with lube, reaches between Paul's legs to cup his balls and cock gently.

Paul can’t stand it any longer. He shoves back against Daryl’s cock, and they both groan as the thickest part of his head is sucked into the depths of Paul's body. Their moans grow wordless and low as they find their rhythm, Daryl thrusting in deep, and Paul pushing back to meet him. In this position they can't quite reach his prostate, but his hole is sensitive in the best way possible, and he clenches down around Daryl's shaft with a gasp.

One of Daryl’s hands grips hard at Paul’s shoulder, and the other gropes blindly for his hand. His body is a warm, welcome weight against Paul's back, slowly pushing his chest down into the mattress and making their movements short and sharp.

“Deeper – God,” Paul chokes out, and Daryl complies. There's just enough room to slide a hand under himself , but aside from that he can’t do much besides tilt his hips and squeeze Daryl’s cock. The stretch is intense, verging on painful, and Paul is caught between the sweet, heavy sensation of fullness and the sheer width of the cock inside him. The hand on Paul's shoulder jerks him back onto Daryl's cock.

“Please… please,” Paul says, breath shuddering. He doesn’t know what he’s begging for, but the words slide out anyway. Daryl's cock is close – so close – to Paul's prostate. The ghost of pleasure shooting through him at the slightest shift. He wants to move, but his muscles aren’t responding; he can only whimper and moan, helpless, in Daryl's arms.

Daryl, however, knows. His hands are broad and warm against Paul’s shoulder and hips, his grip still sticky from precum. He gropes blindly at Paul, and Paul goes easily as he’s turned onto his back.

Daryl's hips settle between his, pushing his thighs open and driving back in as deep as the position allows. They both moan, almost in unison, and Paul’s fingers scratch blindly at Daryl’s back. He pulls his knees up as far as he can, and Daryl does the rest, hooking one long leg up over his bicep and the other over his shoulder. Daryl is panting, his sweaty hair hangs in front of his face but it’s obvious that he’s watching his cock disappear into Paul.

It’s easier to take him in like this, and a sweet warmth begins to grow low in Paul's belly. Daryl groans when he reaches for his cock again, wrapping his hands around Paul's thighs and pulling their bodies flush. It’s a heady feeling, being spread out on display while Daryl begins to lose it above him. Paul arches his back, half for the pleasure of it and half for the sound Daryl makes when he does. He's fucking Paul in earnest now with quick, hard thrusts, head thrown back and fingers dug into the flesh of Paul's thighs.

Daryl’s orgasm hits fast and hard. He knows its impossible, but when Daryl twitches and jerks inside him he imagines he can feel his cum spilling hot into his body. Daryl's hips still and he lets himself fall forward to rest on his forearms. Paul wraps him up tight, smoothing his hands up and down Daryl's scarred, sweat-slick back, and pressing them flush together. Daryl is silent in orgasm, save for the choked gasps he muffles with Paul's shoulder, and Paul makes a sympathetic noise as Daryl's body relaxes.

For a moment the only sounds in the room are Daryl's panting breaths and Paul's blood rushing in his ears. Daryl is going soft inside him, but Paul is still hard and sandwiched between their bellies. When Daryl slips out of him they finally shift, Daryl onto his side with Paul’s back tucked up against his chest. His hand is large and warm and calloused, and he knows just how to twist his wrist to carry Paul to his second orgasm. This is easy and familiar; this was how sex happened in the beginning when they were still new to each other, secret handjobs and Daryl’s face hidden against the nape of his neck. Once it was from shame, now it's so he can press kisses up to Paul's ear, and breathe in the scent of his hair.

This time his orgasm is long and gentle, a slow wave of pleasure that grows and grows ‘till it finally spills over, washing through him and leaving him lax and sleepy. Daryl wipes his hand against the sheets before resting it against Paul's belly. His breath is steady and warm in Paul's hair, and his cock is soft and damp where it's pressed to Paul’s ass. There’s still semen leaking from him; they’re going to be stuck together in the morning if they don’t get up and clean, but Paul can’t bring himself to move. They're safe and comfortable like this, like animals piled together in a den.

“Love you,” Daryl murmurs, tugging him impossibly close, and Paul squeezes his hand tight.

Outside, the last party stragglers finally begin to wander home, laughing and tipsy. Someone shouts a good night, and the front door clicks shut. Tara and Denise’s shuffling footsteps make their way up the stairs to their bedroom, and Paul hears the water turn on, mingling with their quiet laughter. Behind him, Daryl begins to snore into his hair.

Paul's eyes slide shut. He knows a lot of things about Daryl; his taste and the intimate sounds he makes, and the feel of his hands. His selflessness in and outside of bed. His shyness and how it falls away under Paul's touch. He knows Daryl loves him, deeply enough that it sometimes overwhelms Paul.

He knows he'll wake in the morning to the smell of coffee and a familiar body slipping back into bed with him.

Paul lets the sounds of his family wash over him like warm bathwater. The world outside their walls is violent and uncertain, but for tonight at least, they’re home, and they're safe. Paul knows that.