Tall, dried grass broke underneath Cole and Ramse's boots. The moonlit blue clearing ahead of them showed vestiges of an old playground from back before the end of the world. They had broken off from the main group at the edge of the bunker, the only contact between them and Whitley's men being a walkie-talkie that Ramse would rather juggle up and down. Occasionally, raspy whispers spilled from the speaker, always some Whitley lapdog reporting the area was clear.
Ramse sighed, for what may have been the fifteenth time in the last minutes. Cole grumbled something inaudible in response and stopped, looking around the clearing for any fresh tracks. Nothing. So far, this trip outside had turned out to be pointless.
"'Specialised threat assessment'," Ramse whispered, his tone carrying a vaguely Germanic accent that failed miserably in replicating Katarina Jone's. "We're going places, man."
"That's just the doctor's fancy talk so Whitley doesn't get to run this show on his own."
"A gung-ho, happy fellow like him? I wonder why not," Ramse riposted. "The way he goes on about the big, bad scavs, he'd be having the time of his life hunting for West 7 right now."
"Jones said Whitley is prejudiced and she needs to know for sure whether these scavs are just stragglers or a next wave. So she thinks his judgement is off or something."
"Yeah, well, can't blame her; Whitley nearly screwed it up last time, not listening to us and underestimating West 7. Everything would've gone to shit if it weren't for you."
"That's my man," Ramse laughed through his nose. "Always humble."
A cold breeze rolled over the grass like a wave washing the clearing. Ramse exhaled, the hot breath rolling and forming into a foggy ball before falling apart and fading away. A cricket stopped singing somewhere in the bushes nearby. Even if it wasn't the Winter season, the night was cool enough for it.
"You know, we've been out here for hours now. If it was West 7 again, somebody would have found something by now," Ramse said as Cole and him circled the clearing, watching Cole's pull his hair behind his ear. "They're too many to hide from us and Whitley's men. Some perimeter guard probably just saw a random scav earlier today and wet himself."
Cole stopped and looked around one last time. "Yeah," He said after a moment's thought. The cricket resumed its song once he'd stepped away. "Okay. Let's head back."
"Naw, man," Ramse protested. "If it ain't Whitley, then the doctor will be on our asses and bitch about coming back to the bunker before he makes the call."
Cole shrugged, scratching the back of his head. "So? What do you care?"
"I don't... but when was the last time we've camped out, right? Also, I'm tired. To be honest, I can't shut eye in the bunker since Deacon," Ramse said, his voice dropping nearly to an awkward whisper before he continued with refreshed vigour. "So I went through Whitley's stash the other night. I got the time and the guy needs someone to remind him he ain't above a little shit."
"Sure," Cole approved half-heartedly, amused. "I thought your pack looked heavier."
"Because I got us wool blankets, man! Top-quality gear. Did you know that these can keep you warm even if wet?"
"Yeah?" Cole replied as he assessed the immediate environment for camping. The floor was dry enough and even if it was cold, the night sky looked clear. Still, him and Ramse were just a little over an hour away from the bunker.
"Yeah!" Ramse said, taking out a wool blanket roll held by cheap leather belts. "Because wool retains 80% of its insulating value."
Cole looked behind him at the Ramse, a tinge of interest sparked. Not necessarily by the fascinating composition of wool but rather that Ramse would know much about it. As if guessing his thoughts, Ramse grinned with a comically smug glow and held up a piece of fabric sown onto the blanket's end.
"Says right here on the label."
Cole shook his head. Unlike Ramse, he didn't care about Whitley or Katarina, even if Ramse put up with a lot of shit for both of them while he was away. Not to mention that Ramse went out of his way to look for trouble. That's why Cole knew that once things winded down again, that his best friend's biggest enemy wasn't Whitley or Katarina but the boredom waiting for him at the bunker. Still.
"Alright," Cole said, "We'll camp out for a couple of hours."
Ramse looked visibly content and held on to his blanket roll, looking around the place. Good for him, Cole thought. As far as Cole himself was concerned, it was Max that he'd rather avoid. She stood behind to guard the bunker and Cole would rather take this chance to put some distance between them. While she might have helped save both their lives, Ramse was the only person Cole had ever known to do something solely out of the goodness of his heart or some moral compass shit. Cassie too. Cole now owed Max though and, at this point, it wasn't so hard to figure out what she still wanted from him. Something that he couldn't give, however tempting. Cole had moved on a long time ago. So there was no point in giving Max a chance to make things awkward.
Ramse unfolded a large, plastic wrap and spread it over the ground, unrolling his blanket on top of it. Cole dropped his gear beside him, looking into the darkness beyond the tree line, still in a half a mind to keep watch for now. Just because there weren't any West 7 around, it didn't mean that they were safe.
"Man, we could've so used this back in the days. Just feel how soft and thick it is."
"Beats the floor."
"Yeah. Good thing that I brought two," Ramse added with a self-congratulatory grin as he removed his boots. "So now I don't have spoon you to sleep tonight."
"You're the little spoon," Cole shrugged and set his rifle down beside him. Him and Ramse had gone through several winters together with far lesser gear. They were usually better prepared than that but, when harsh nights had threatened to freeze their asses off in the past, neither had seen a point in dispensing the extra body warmth nearby.
"No, no," Ramse shook his head, confidently stating. "I specifically remember last time who was spooning whom."
"Well," Cole shrugged, having no recollection from that far back himself. "We sure didn't have wool blankets back then."
Cole sat down on the plastic wrap as Ramse pulled the blanket over himself, somehow struggling to find a position to the point of looking like he was wrestling against swaddling clothes. Cole begun unlacing his boots, the cricket still singing in the far distance. Ramse's breath was forming foggy trails and his raspy voice shivered when he spoke.
"Shit, Cole, it's still cold," Ramse's back of the head hit the plastic wrap with a dull sound. "I don't think it's working."
Finished unlacing his boots, Cole removed each with his feet instead and let the boots unceremoniously fall on the ground. It really was cold. He hadn't realised just how much when the walk had kept the blood pumping.
"I think I need you to climb in here with me, buddy."
Cole smirked, unbuckling the belt of his blanket roll. "Go to sleep, Ramse."
Cole heard his friend sigh in resignation whilst the blanket roll came undone. Spreading it over the available room left on the plastic wrap, Cole made sure his gun laid well within arm's reach. He really didn't think he'd find West 7 so early on after the attack and there were also no signs of other scavs having ever been around here before. But that didn't mean he felt safe. Safety was an alien concept to him.
Cole covered his body with the woollen blanket and turned himself towards the clearing, having no intention to fall asleep watching Ramse's stupid face even if he only planned a quick nap. He heard Ramse's blanket rustle as the man moved and shivered in the cold but thought nothing of it. Then Ramse started pulling at his own blanket. Cole pulled back and muttered an obscenity under his breath at the thief. But then Cole realised Ramse wasn't so much trying to steal his blanket as trying to get himself underneath. Cole sighed. Not only was he too tired to care about more nonsense at this point, it was also too cold to start trashing about under the blanket and lose heat in the process. That thought in mind, Cole shrugged it off in indifference. It was nothing that they hadn't done before, afterall. Ramse snuggled up behind him, his chest touching Cole's back. As Ramse's chest muscles pressed on him to share the heat, his head lodged behind Cole's neck, his breath leaving warm trails on his skin. His crotch wasn't touching Cole, luckily for Ramse, or that would've been Cole's queue to kick some sense into his idiot brother. Still, Ramse's feet found their way to his though, and true enough, they were cold like he'd said. Ramse begun rubbing them against his and the fabric, probably in a pointless effort to warm himself up. What he was doing however, was opening up paths for the cold to seep in, so Cole set his feet on Ramse's and held them down. Ramse stopped moving at his point. Then, tauntingly, his big toe begun drawing circles on Cole's foot heel. The tickling sent goosebumps up Cole's leg. He hissed Ramse's name in a warning whisper before holding down his feet harder to make his point. Cole felt Ramse's breath quiver as if quietly chuckling to himself. Then he obeyed, stopping it only to snuggle up his chest tight against Cole's back and, amazingly, growing still.
In the period that followed, Cole planned to get those forty winks immediately but he lied awake and aware of Ramse for a while. He couldn't help it. Sleep was when a man was at his most vulnerable. Still, the rising and fall of his friend's chest behind him, like a pump or machinery, was lulling him to sleep. The warmth under the covers was heating up between them and the skin on his neck felt moist from where Ramse's breath fell. Ramse was using one arm for a pillow while the other, though not necessarily on Cole, rested rather close to Cole's waist, the fingertips brushing against a line of his skin between his shirt and jeans.
Being like this with Ramse wasn't unpleasant or, at the very least, Cole wasn't fazed by the touch. Once Ramse fell asleep, Cole could simply roll him off him anyway. With that in mind, Cole felt his breath slow down and his lingering awareness of the world dim. An indiscernible amount of time passed by. Still, somewhere in the back of his brain, Cole vaguely processed Ramse moving a hand to rest on his hip. Eventually, the hand slowly slid down, the fingertips fiddling with the button on Cole's pants. When Ramse had unbuttoned his pants, Cole half-opened his eyes, turning his head only slightly and voicing a sleepy whisper: "Ramse, what the fuck..."
"You can pretend that you're asleep," Ramse's own whisper followed, low and scratchy.
"That doesn't make any sense."
"Just looking to keep us warm."
"That still doesn't make any sense," Cole blinked twice, the moonlit clearing ahead vaguely blurry. His hand timely reached down to stop Ramse's from slipping down his underwear and further beyond. "What's my dick got to do with it?"
"I didn't say it had," Ramse replied and kissed the back of Cole's neck. Cole felt a sudden wave of air leave his throat, his heartbeat speeding in contrast to his otherwise sleepy soreness. Fingers still reached down to touch his skin and Cole held Ramse's hand back with a harder grip, holding his breath as he processed the situation. Ramse landed another soft kiss on Cole's neck, Cole shutting his eyes as the sudden gentleness rather unhinged him or, at least, sent an undeniable tingling down in his spine that he knew had nothing to do with the cold. Ramse's fingers still managed to tickle Cole, caressing the body hair leading down to his sex. When Cole sighed at this and experimentally let go of Ramse's hand, even if his judgement felt rather cloudy still, Ramse's hand slipped under his underwear to brush against his more sensitive skin. This elicited an old and primal feeling to Cole, as if he'd sprung and fallen flat on a body of water, the impact overloading his senses and then leaving him in a state of titillating numbness. Either Ramse's touch was turning him on or the cold was fucking up with his senses. Ramse's fingers travelled down further, finding the head of Cole's cock. His fingers rubbed the soft skin, guessing the shape by tactile trial, going up and down Cole's hardening shaft. Then Ramse's index reached and trailed the circle on Cole's foreskin, digging sometimes underneath to poke at the head. Slowly and teasing. And nice. Almost too nice.
Ramse had to know how to spank the monkey as much as the next man, Cole figured. So he was probably doing nothing out of his depth. Still, had Ramse done this to other men other than Cole, he wondered? Beyond women, Cole had only seen Ramse pissing around buddies for laughs. Surely Cole would have known if he'd wanted to act on it then. Or if he had done the deed. Cole had known about Elena, after all. Hell, he had known about all the other women, even without Ramse and his big mouth. Still, Cole hadn't been looking for this then.
"What's wrong?" Ramse asked while sucking Cole's neck, teeth marking his skin.
Cole didn't know when he'd gotten on the weird train of thought. Once a strange and disconcertingly irrational feeling of nausea in the pit of his stomach subsided, he looked back to Ramse. One thing was clear: he was here now and he wouldn't miss out.
"Take off your pants," Cole said.
"What-" Ramse stopped moving altogether. He let an awkward moment pass them by. Once Cole raised an eyebrow at him, Ramse spoke again. "Well, sure, alright, buddy."
Ramse moved himself off Cole just enough to kick at his own pants, pushing them off him rather enthusiastically. A cold breeze slipped inside the blanket though and Ramse quickly snuggled up to him. Cole could feel Ramse's dick squeezing against his back. Ramse was rock hard and obviously horny, the heat like hot steel on Cole's cold skin. Cole couldn't imagine why the fucker got off about him.
Ramse begun rocking himself behind him, his lips kissing Cole's ear. Ramse's hand brushed the skin on Cole's stomach down to his crotch, fingers wrapping tight around Cole's cock. Cole tried to writhe himself up and down on the ground but only the bunker could've provided them with decent comfort for a fuck. Still, the more he tried, the more he wanted, needed to fuck that tight hand of Ramse's, all around his length, thumb gently pressing down on the head as he jerked him off. Cole's breath shivered, pale clouds dancing in his vision. Ramse whispered and moaned his pleasure behind his ear, cock rubbing against Cole's back. Reaching back with his hand, Cole pulled Ramse to sway along faster with him under the blankets, matching rhythms. Cole could feel the muscled body through his palm, Ramse's flesh and bones, needy, begging for release. Cole knew that sort of desire well, like a switch flipping, promising cloud nine but all layers of hell if otherwise restrained. Then Cole felt Ramse's grip loosening. He caught his breath, his cock left to tiny prickles of abandon. The pebbles under the plastic wrap had left his skin raw in his rash resignation to pleasure. Ramse pulled Cole's jeans down, trying to get them off him, as low as he could, only stopping to feel up every newly freed portion of Cole's bare skin. Once Cole's jeans were pulled well past his hips, Ramse brought himself lower, kissing Cole's back over the fabric of the shirt. He placed himself behind Cole, his crotch pressing up against Cole's ass.
"Open your legs for me a bit, buddy" he whispered, pleadingly and unashamedly. Cole felt his breath leave him, trying to comprehend as Ramse's cock pressed into the space between his legs. Cole scratched his eyebrow in thought and then, if rather awkwardly, helped Ramse place his cock between Cole's thighs. Ramse hugged Cole's arm, his hand up to hold onto Cole's shoulder as he pulled him lower on his length. Then, with a trembling but openly content moan of delight, Ramse begun rocking his body again, his manhood slipping in and out between Cole's muscled thighs. Cole could feel the hard head of Ramse's cock poking against his balls in the motions, the man desperately looking to fuck Cole's thighs as they both struggled to find a rhythm. It was an odd sensation to Cole. He hadn't been penetrated but their bodies pressed together, their skin slapping on contact and Ramse's perverse moans could almost fool him. Ramse, the horny fool, pulled down on him so hard at that times though that Cole was sure his shoulder would be left sore for tomorrow. Then Cole felt a wetness running down the side of his thigh Ramse's pre-cum. At this rate, Ramse would surely finish off first.
Cole stopped moving, pulling Ramse's hand off his shoulder, much against the pounds of complaints that struck both his and his friend's body in the rising heat of need. He turned around in his lying position until he was facing Ramse completely on his side. Both men still panting and moaning even at the lack of touch. Ramse's cock brushed up against his and Cole saw the expression on his friend, his eyes half-closed in a state of sexual bliss. The side of Ramse's lips curled in a soft smile and then, as their gaze met, he flashed Cole a toothy grin that the bastard liked to show whenever he was in a especially good mood. When Cole ignored him and reached down to wrap his hand around his buddy's cock, Ramse shut his eyes and buried his face into the blanket, grabbing the fabric and muttering "fuck" in delight. Cole watched Ramse squirm from his touch in a momentary fascination. Ramse remembered to breathe, loosened his fist and his hand travelled down Cole's body, past his hard shaft, to hold onto Cole's balls. Cole bit his lips. Ramse definitely knew his way around cock. When Cole found Ramse looking at him with a cheeky grin, Cole felt a flare of righteous anger and dived in to taste Ramse's mouth, holding his friend by his jaw. That shocked Ramse well enough, everything pausing for a moment, losing himself to Cole's mouth. Then Ramse evened the score, his tongue hungrily lapping at Cole's lips and chin, his moans raspy and broken. Cole pulled away only when he'd had enough. Horny as he was, the intimacy of Ramse doing whatever he wanted to his mouth was still too foreign a thing. However, as Ramse wiped the slobbering mess off his pecked lips, a content smile on his face, a strange feeling of achievement sprouted in Cole's mind.
Taking the lead, Cole positioned himself over Ramse, nudging the man to lie down. At this point, neither cared if the cold slipped in, Ramse reaching out with his hand and running his palms over Cole's neck and shoulders, feeling the warmth of his skin. Once Cole positioned himself completely over Ramse, the other man lifted his back off the ground, sitting lower underneath Cole. Then Ramse spread his legs, crossing them behind Cole's ass and interlocking both men together, cocks pressing against one another. Cole looked down at the shape of Ramse underneath him, his shirt a torn disaster with his nipples visibly perked under the fabric. Ramse's chest was wide and well-built, his muscles shakily rising and falling in conflict between relaxing to Cole's touches and imminent release. It was a sight that Cole had never considered before but knew now that he would never forget. Ramse laid bare underneath him and hid none of his desire for Cole's body, however he may have veiled it in the past by dirty jokes and brags about conquests, his breath raggedy and whatever sense of self-composure gone. His crossed legs pulled at Cole to drop down fully on him and Cole followed suit, pressing himself and his hard member against Ramse's He rocked up and down on his life-long companion, their pace and moans becoming more frantic and desperate by the minute. Cole felt himself reaching his edge, pressing his forehead down on the blankets beside Ramse's head. He heard himself moan and roar, his hands holding tightening into fists as he held on to the fabric, his muscles twisting and clenching. His back arched in a last strain, body pressed against Ramse's, before he finally released his seed all over Ramse's stomach and chest, the cum running between the softly concave lines of Ramse's abs down to his belly button. Cole moved himself off with effort and dropped himself sideways partly off Ramse with a grunt. He was out of breath, feeling his throat dry and eager for any possible refreshment the world could provide. Then Cole felt the strong and warm body underneath him shiver, legs nearly trashing against his, as Ramse moaned and finished himself off, his hand going up and down the length as quick as his body allowed. In his half-overwhelmed state of bliss, Cole reached down to caress Ramse's thighs, fingers brushing against his balls, the palm cupping and pulling at the skin just as Ramse had done to him, driving him crazy. Ramse muscles visibly convulsed, willing prey to any of Cole's sweet touches, until Ramse's eyes widened and he looked up at the dark sky, coming with animal fury and releasing a crisp cry of pleasure as lines of semen landed all over himself, leaving his torn shirt and stomach covered with a pearly white mess of cum strings alongside Cole's own. In his orgasm, Cole held Ramse by the head and covered his mouth with a wet kiss, hungrily silencing his rough voice and moaning echoing throughout the clearing. Sometime, somewhere, Ramse had surely beat some record and he was still moaning softly inside Cole's mouth as thinner lines of cum ran down his shaft. As Cole finally got himself to let go, both caught their breath in a nearly painful manner.
"Ooof," Ramse sighed after his voice returned and he let his head fall back on the blanket. Cole chuckled softly into the blanket beside him, gently rolling off. But Ramse reached out, wrapping an arm around his companion and pulling him closer to him. There were still some hours left until they had to return to bunker so, tired and numb, Cole relaxed into the warm touch. Ramse's hand lazily ran down Cole's hair, Cole even voicing no complaint when Ramse landed a kiss on his forehead. They nestled together and a for a long time, neither saying a word.
"Fuck, this blanket's a mess," Cole remarked, being the first to break the silence for a change. Ramse let out a soft chuckle and playfully rubbed Cole's head with his knuckles.
"Good thing that I brought two."