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Pressure

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Pressure

Episode 18 from season two was the spark for the start of this story. There are so many interesting dynamics within their group when Charlie and Miles, Bass, Connor and Jason travel to Austin and those dynamics were the inspiration for this story.

This is fan fiction. I do not own Revolution and this is just a daydream and exploration about what could have happened too.


 Pressure

 Chapter

1.

Bass' eyes are filled with a deep focus as he scans the alley around him for anyone who could kill him before he gets a chance to kill them.

High buildings are towering around them. These streets used to be filled with cars, cabs and noises that everyone is starting to forget. Now, the streets of Austin are filled with ivy that gradually wraps itself around walls of structures that are slowly losing the battle to time moving along in this blackout world.

His hands are in the pockets of his leather jacket when two Rangers pass them. He feels the surface of hard concrete under his boots. It's a nice fucking change from all the hiding in the woods from the past few months.

Although he is aware of all the boring Ranger beige and every single thing that is happening around them, they are both trying to keep a low profile. Because when the Rangers find out Miles Matheson and Sebastian Monroe are in town, he knows things will probably go to hell pretty fucking fast.

He is kind of supposed to be dead and Miles kind of tried to assassinate Blanchard once when Texas was being.. .well, Texas. Like his brother who sucks at math, would say, it would all add up to awful faster than Rachel starts bitching every single time she feels they are not doing the right thing.

There is no right thing. This is war.

He is walking shoulder to shoulder through Austin, Texas, with a brother who would use to understand that. They are on their way back to their rendez vous point a couple of blocks away. Miles has hardly spoken to him since they left Blanchard's place.

His kid, and a set of blue eyes and a lot of stubbornness in the swing of those hips of hers, are on his mind again.

After Scanlon had found intel about cadets moving their ass to Austin to take down the Texan government and kill their president and after the Neville kid had walked his ass into their camp with a gun trimmed against the back of his kid's head , they had packed their shit and went to Austin for the road trip of the year.

That intel had lead them to a patriot safe house in an apartment building hidden in a quiet alley. While Connor, Charlie and Neville Junior had stayed behind to see if they could find more intel, he and Miles had been busy drinking whiskey at Blanchard's place.

With a glass of whiskey in his hand, he had told his mind to shut up every fucking time it had reminded him that Charlie was alone with his kid and Junior. Even a damn fine blonde, one of Blanchard's whores, touching the inside of his thigh with her knee when she had given him his glass of whiskey, had not been able to yank his thoughts away from Charlotte completely.

Blanchard's whiskey and an opportunity for some revenge had helped shoving that thought and why the long blonde lush hair of that one whore reminded him of Charlie so fucking much, to a dark corner of his mind. They had tried to get Frank on their side. It worked. End of story.

He looks at his brother, who should not be doing his whole frowning and pathetic let's think about everything some more thing.

Frank fucking Blanchard is on board with their whole let's wipe Kaki of the map for good plan. They have found a new ally in the form of Texas. And right the hell now, an ally is an ally. They need it.

There was a damn good reason why Miles tried to kill Frank, but if Frank himself is willing to let that one go, he can too. Bass cannot look at the doubt in Miles' eyes or listen to his brother's bullshit any longer. Austin is a win.

As far as Bass is concerned this means that the whining and nagging part of this year is over.

But because Miles is busy making plans to play house with a certain holier than thou bitch, his brother cannot even fucking see it. His next breath is filled with old and some new frustration, while his boots hit the pavement under him. He swallows the bitter taste of frustration away.

It is time for some good old fashioned action and Bass can feel the hunger to fight and thirst for revenge in his damn blood. They pass some Rangers and both of them lower their head instinctively when they take another right and walk into a small street.

Miles pushes open the door to the hallway of 19 Arnell street. While he and Bass are walking up the stairs of the apartment building they suddenly hear and feel an explosion above them that wakes up all their instincts.

They never hear the shot coming from only one block away from their current location.

Bass' eyes are wide as they fill with shock and deep steel fear. Miles' heartbeat runs wild in his chest as Charlie's name keeps on repeating itself in his head. Two brothers share one look. And then they just quicken their pace, moving up the stairs with adrenaline flooding their blood. Bass covers Miles while they make their way through the staircase.

Their training and experiences takes over. Their large hands firmly around their weapons. Their boots hit the stairs in a desperate rhythm.

They both have one goal and two people on their mind. Charlie. Connor.

Now.


 10 minutes earlier

Jason never stops listening to the possibly of threats coming from the other side of the door of the small apartment. Monroe and Miles had left one hour ago. He is leaning against a wall close to the door. The crosses that mark the pressure grenades under the floorboards near the door are close to his boots. His hands are still cuffed. Miles gave the order to cuff him and he can't blame him.

He is keeping his distance from Connor. And her. She is the Charlie he remembers, but he can also feel a shift within her. She is stronger. Harder. She has every reason to not trust him. And yet, a part of her refuses to block him out completely.

And he knows that's still her. Her inability to shut someone out completely and that need to reach out for a part in someone worth fighting for, has survived the past year.

His eyes move from her to Connor. Their eyes have met more than once as both men have tried to figure out what the other means to her.

He looks at Connor. Monroe's son. When he had been sitting across from Charlie and Connor in the back of the wagon on their way to Austin, he had been unable to not think about what it would have been like. Philly. Independence hall. To see Connor standing right there with Monroe himself, when the heavy wooden doors to his office would be opened.

Two generations of Monroe men around one desk, looking at maps, reading reports and talking about strategy.

When Connor and Charlie had been busy loading the wagon in their camp, he had watched Monroe. Monroe had not been watching Connor. He had been watching Charlie,with his hand on the hilt of his sword.

He had grown up in the Republic. He had met Monroe at several official parties. His mom had always been busy charming her way into a more secure and comfortable life in Philadelphia while she would speak to Monroe with that fake smile plastered on her face, his dad always around.

His years in the Militia had taught him many things about its former General and President when it came to woman. And one look at him, while Monroe had been looking at her, and he had known that smething is happening there.

Charlie is going through bags and drawers . It has gotten dark and an oil lamp is burning on top of the fireplace to give them some light as they search the apartment.

Connor looks at Jason before he looks at Charlie. She has barely talked to him since they left their boat behind that helped them across the river and into Austin.

He can feel the tension or whatever the hell it is between her and Jason. He wishes he did not give a shit but he cannot wonder what the hell happened between her and sixpack. He has a feeling the asshole hurt her. And he finds himself in that place again where he somehow can't stand to see her hurt, no matter how much she is shutting him out.

He steps closer to her on purpose, making sure sixpack sees it. He refuses to break their eye contact first.

'Anything useful in there?' Connor asks when Charlie goes through some papers she has found on a small table.

Charlie doesn't look up when her eyes move over the papers in her hand. She can feel Connor's eyes on her but more than that, she can feel Jason staring at her again.

No matter how much she has tried to forget him. No matter how many times he had screwed them over and no matter how hard her mind reminds her of his lies and their start on that bright day near that river, when he was still Nate. A part of her still can't ignore him.

She can still see his damage and fear in his deep eyes that remind her of a cornered animal. She has seen the tattoo. She knows what it could mean. She can sense he keeps his distance. She noticed he did not even protest when Miles gave the order to cuff him. She knows why Miles never lets go of Jason with his eyes when he gets too close to her.

The room feels small, too small, for all of them here. She can feel the hostility between Connor and Jason. Her mind flows to Monroe and Miles. It is not the first time her mind has taken her there since they left to see Blanchard.

'I found some Californian papers.' Her voice breaks the heavy silence in the room. Charlie looks at Connor, while she tries to connect this new piece of information to the things she knows about Texas, the patriots and California.

'What the hell are Patriots doing with I.D's from California?' Connor asks.

But there is no time to answer his question because from the corner of her eyes she sees how the door slowly opens. The shot of adrenaline that her heart pumps through her body tells her it is not Miles. It is not Monroe.

Jason immediately reacts. His training in the Militia and what they did do him in that hellhole of a re-education camp set his instincts on fire. You are nothing but a weapon. He hears the voice of one of the cadet handlers again when they broke him down and rebuild him again.

Charlie is standing directly across from the door and if there is one thing he knows for sure, is that she cannot get hurt. Not because of him, and the tattoo at the inside of his eye. Not because of anyone.

Jason moves fast. He knocks the gun out of a hand that is slowly trying to open the door even further. The metal of his cuffs yams into the gun before it crashes down on the floor.

He yanks the door open. In a mechanic way his brain tells him to step over the two pressure grenades under the floorboards. He knows they are there because he knows their playbook. A part of his mind tells him he knows this son of a bitch he is following.

'Jason...' Charlie yells, while Jason runs into the narrow hallway. She follows him, Connor is right behind her.

Later, the sounds of his boots following her through the hallway is the last thing she will truly remember. What happens after that moment will be branded inside of her heart like the lines of Monroe's brand on her wrist.

She takes one step, and then another. And then, things move faster and slower at the same time. There is a low pressure that is swirling around her body and against her eardrums and then everything starts to fade into a dull unfocused image around her when she is knocked down to the floor.

She forces herself to stay conscious. When she is able to make sense of the world around her again she sees him on the floor. He is barely breathing, his eyes are unfocussed. Her heart shoves his name through her system with every heartbeat. Jason.

Jason. She needs to get to him. The rest fades. The lies, the past. She can only remember every single struggle she has witnessed between him and Neville. She knows his struggle. She knows his pain. It is all that remains when she pushes herself up from the wooden dirty floor of the hallway of an apartment building in Austin.

'Jason...' She crouches down next to his tall body on the floor. Her voice does not sound like it belongs to her. The ring in her ear mixes with nauseating fear. His eyes are closed. And when she gently turns him to see if there is anything she can do, she can see a small knife in his stomach as his shirt, and her tank, slowly turn into a deep red.

She cups his head with her hands. Her heart refuses to believe what her mind already knows.

And what started near a river on a bright day ends on the floor of a dirty floor in an apartment building in Austin.

And all that remains is for her to wrap her arms around his shoulders when his eyes are closed now.Her tears mix with his blood that is slowly flowing from him into her tank. She holds him. Hoping he can feel her, her desperate comfort, in his last moments. Desperately trying to give him something. Anything.

She does not hear the sound of two sets of heavy boots behind her and a rough desperate voice calling out her name.


 Author's Note The grenades from this episode always intrigued me and I really wanted to explore what could have happened when something would have happened with them in that episode. Thank you to the fabulous Threemagpies for her support. And thank you to all of you who are there, enjoying writing and reading fan fiction as well! Chapter two will be published next week. Love from Love

Chapter Text

When Bass follows Miles into the narrow hallway, his hands are around his weapon. But his eyes are wide with shock and fear for what will be next. There is dust in the air. The apartment they had left an hour ago, is a warzone.

His mind battles what image from hell he needs to process first. His kid is on the floor. Reaching for his head with his hand, the expression on his face filled with pain. The Neville kid is on the ground. Bleeding and with a knife in his stomach. And fucking hell. Charlie is holding him close to her body. Crying. Her tank soaked with his blood.

Miles shouts Charlie's name with a desperation that swirls like nausea through Bass' stomach. There is a bald son of a bitch laying on the floor not far from her.

As soon as that son of a bitch starts to move as he regains consciousness it wakes up deep steel rage inside of Bass. His boots hit the floor with more rage in every step he takes towards him.

His sees Connor. Hurt. He sees Charlie. Broken. It only enrages him even more. That rage is the fuel for his next kill. With his bare hands he snaps the asshole's neck. His jaws are locked when he hears the satisfying sound of death filling the hallway.

After the bald asshole is dead, and no longer a threat, he only wants to get to Connor. Miles crouches down next to Charlie. He knows his brother will take care of her.

A ring in his ear pulls Connor back to reality. The ring pulsates through his body. His lunges are filled with the same dust that is slowly floating through the hallway. When he finally remembers how to cough his whole system tries to push the dust out of his lunges in violent coughes.

He swallows. He blinks. His mind is desperately trying to make sense of what the fuck just happened. When he is able to focus, he notices a sleeve. Black. Red. A memory, not that far in his mind. Broad shoulders. He tries to breathe. Slender hands he knows, wrapped around those broad shoulders.

His mind tries to connect all these small fragments into an image that makes sense. And then everything comes back. Slowly. Shattering. Austin. His dad. Miles. Jason. Charlie. Shit, Charlie. Panic starts to spread through his system when Connor looks for her and finds her only a couple of feet away from him. He tries to push himself up, but he's barely able to sit up.

His mind finally allows him to take in the whole picture. Charlie is holding Jason. She is crying without any sound. There is endless heartbreak in her pale face and hands that are holding on to Jason. Heartbreak that makes Connor ache to reach for her. To do something. Anything.

But his body does not want to cooperate. There is a dull ache moving through his head. He moves the palm of his hand to his temple. He lets out a breath with a sound filled with misery.

'Connor...' his name finds a way through the ring in his ears that is slowly fading. Connor nods to his dad to get to Miles and Charlie, who is still holding on to Jason like she will never let him go.

He coughs. 'Help them...' His voice is raspy with hurt and exhaustion.

Miles is desperately trying to move Charlie away from Jason so he can check if she is hurt. His eyes scan her body. The amount of blood on her jeans and in her tank is making his mouth dry and his heartbeat race with worry. One look and he knows Jason is gone.

'Charlie...' He moves some hair out of her face. 'Hey kid...'

Miles thinks back to that day in Philly. He thinks of that day where he had almost lost her in those dark tunnels under a city that had been his and Bass' for years. A cruel part of his mind makes him remember Nora and for one agonizing moment he wishes she was here now too, just like she was there that day. With strong warmth, right beside him. Knowing what to do now when his mind is screaming in blind panic.

He is reliving those minutes again. Those minutes filled with the horror of the possibility of losing Charlie. She is still breathing. But he knows a part of her is dying here with Jason, just like he had watched a part of her break when they had to burry Maggie and Danny.

She is crying with a heartbreaking brutal force. And he can deal with a lot of shit, but Charlie sobs moving through her whole body so close to his, is too fucking much.

Bass turns from Connor to tell Miles they have to get the hell out of here. There will be Rangers fucking everywhere in about two minutes. 'Miles...' He barks through the hallway, still sitting next to his kid. His brother's eyes tell him he knows.

Bass can see the panic and pain in his brother's eyes as a heavy pressure inside his chest. He can see how much this hurts Miles.

'Be right back...' He says to Connor, who tells him he understands with one look.

Bass crouches down next to Miles and Charlie. Miles has pressed her against his chest. His right arm around her shoulders, one hand in her hair. His hand against Charlotte's temple. Her tears are flowing over the calloused skin of his hand.

He has to swallow before he can speak. His voice is low and raspy. 'She hurt?'

'I don't think so.' Miles says, without looking at him. He can't see the heavy sigh of relieve that fills Bass.

'Brother...we have to go. We have to get Connor and Charlie out of here.'

Charlie can only hold on to Jason. She feels Miles as a wide shield behind her. She can hear Monroe's voice. She hears honest care in his voice when he says her name that she has never heard from him. It is comforting somehow, far away in the distance.

But the distance does not matter. Jason close and in her arms, Jason who will never open his eyes, does. She knows this is the last time she will hold him. See him. Be with him.

Miles finally has enough courage to look up. He meets eyes that he knows so fucking well when a brother he has known since fifth grade sits next to him and Charlie. There is support and brotherhood in Bass' eyes that reminds him of their years, living and fighting together, before everything went to hell. It is Bass that reminds him of the man he has to be for Charlie.

Miles shoves all the heartbreak for Charlie to a place where it cannot exist now. Not when he has to get her, and all of them, out of her here together with Bass.

He allows himself to hold her against his chest in a strong embrace for two more seconds. He curses in his head to push back tears he does not allow himself to feel. And then, Miles slowly moves Charlie away from Jason. He cannot look at Bass. He cannot look at her. His mind starts to yell at him he cannot do this.

But this is Charlie. The kid who walked all the way to Chicago and has become a part of himself since that one day she showed up in his bar.

He has to do what she can't do herself. His large hands are gentle around her shoulders. Gentle but filled with the certainty that they will go now.

'No...' She whispers, her throat hurting when she utters that one word. There is a primal refusal flowing from through whole being when Charlie feels how Miles is slowly moving her against his chest and away from Jason. His large arm encircles her back. The other moves under her knees to lift her away from Jason.

The moment Miles holds all of her and she doesn't hold Jason anymore is an empty hollow moment in time.

There is a tremble in his fingers when her emotions crash straight into his heart. 'There is no more time Charlie...we have to leave him here.'

Charlie wants to fight. Him. Death. But she is too tired. Too tired of having to watch people go.

Bass is nailed to the god damn floor when he watches how his brother has to yank Charlie away from Jason. He feels the ambush of raw tears.

All of a sudden he remembers how it was to hold her in his arms, when he had walked her out of that bar in Pottsboro. He can still feel her weight in his arms. He can still feel her temple against the skin of his chest, her head tucked under his chin.

He remembers her, Charlotte so god damn close to his chest. His arms burn with a sudden aching to hold her again as Miles walks next to him with Charlie in his arms.

Bass moves hand over his face to regain focus. Miles fights to regain control. 'We have to go.'

With Charlie in his arms, Miles keeps on walking. Her whispering Jason's name one last time will haunt him for many nights to come.

Bass helps Connor to his feet. They escape through a back door of the apartment building and move quickly through a dark alley at the back of the building, while Rangers run into the front door of 19 Arnell street.

Under the cover of the night the four of them escape Austin.

Chapter Text

Bass walks through their camp, looking for his kid. He finds him in front of a small tent, sitting down on a log and staring into the fire in front of him. His back is turned towards the tent. But Bass knows his thoughts are inside. With her.

She has hardly spoken since the moment they had left Austin four days ago. Her silence had pressed heavy on all of them on their way back to their camp, seven miles south west of Willoughy. He had listened how Miles had tried to talk to her and yank her away from a place of loss. A place he knows so damn well. The dark shadows of that place had started to close in on him from the night he had been sitting in front of four graves on a cemetery in his home town with a bottle of whiskey and a gun in his fucking hands.

She has hardly left the tent in the heart of their camp. Connor has hardly spoken to him. Miles has hardy slept, worried out of his damn mind.

He stops before the tent. He knows Connor has heard him but he doesn't look up.

'Concerned about your girlfriend?' Bass' voice is filled with roughness and a mocking cruel tone. His hand rests on the hilt of his sword while he adjusts his leather jacket with his free hand.

Connor hears the snarl hidden in his dad's words. He gets up from his log.

'You can be a total asshole, you know that?' Connor spits the words out when he looks straight at Bass. But then, treacherous emotions catch up with him and he has to look away.

Bass wants to open his mouth again. But then he sees familiar tension in his kid's jaws. He sees something that reminds him so much of Emma's eyes that day he saw her again in Jasper.

Guilt. All of a sudden he can see it. Bass' face changes when he takes another step towards his son. The steel in his eyes moves into concerned blue.

He puts a hand on Connor's shoulder. 'Hey. What's going on?'

Connor looks the other way, refusing to meet his eyes.

'Connor, come on...what's wrong...' Bass tries again, unable to keep his worry out of his voice and eyes.

Without any warning, Connor pushes him away with two strong hands crashing into his chest.

'What the...' Bass eyes fill with thunder.

But Connor won't let him finish. 'I think it is my fault all right...' He almost yells with wide eyes and tears that cloud his dark eyes.

He finally allows all the thoughts that have been haunting him from the moment they had left Austin to reach the surface.

Connor has been going over and over the same moment in his mind. Jason running into the hallway. Charlie following him. Him wanting to help her as he had followed her. He knew about the grenades under the floorboards near that door. He is sure he didn't touch them with his boots. Almost sure. And the almost behind every thought is ripping him apart from the inside.

'What's your fault?' Bass feels Connor's self doubt and pain in his damn gut.

'Those grenades...Jason...Charlie...I think I stepped over them but maybe...maybe...' Connor stammers. He can suddenly taste the guilt in the back of his throat as an acid reminder of Austin.

Guilt that has been keeping him company with every hour he had been sitting on a log in front of her tent.

Bass steps closer to his son. 'When you're sure you stepped over them...you stepped over them kid. I know you would never do something to get her into danger.' He briefly looks at the tent on his right before he looks back to Connor.

Bass tries to take away the heart breaking storm he can see in his kid's eyes. He tries to explain to Connor that other things could have triggered those damn grenades like the vibrations from all of their boots on the wooden floor.

He hates to see so much guilt and self doubt in his kid's eyes.

'I am just not sure...' Connor starts.

'What do you mean...you are not sure.' Another deep voice is there, filled with dark threat, close to both Monroe men.

Bass turns to find Miles standing next to the both of them. He looks like hell. And he knows that every single minute worrying about Charlie is poured into his brothers eyes that are now fixed on Connor.

'Miles...' There is a warning in Bass' voice. He tries to calm his brother the hell down.

Connor looks from Miles to his dad and back to Miles again. It only enrages Miles even more. He takes another step towards Connor, grabbing him by his shirt.

Bass immediately reacts. He pushes Miles away from Connor with a hand on his brother's chest, close to Miles' throat. He steps in front of his kid.

'Hey, watch it..' Bass growls, protecting Connor from a brother who is looking for blood.

Bass wants to tells Miles he gets it. The sickening worrying about Charlie. The deep rage for every fucking single thing she is going through. The frustration of a war they are slowly loosing with every damn day they are sitting here in this fucking camp, doing nothing. Bass wants to tell Connor it isn't his fault.

Hell, he even wants to walk into her tent and sit next to her, telling her he gets that all consuming grieve from too much loss, better than she thinks. She will never believe him. But he is fighting that urge to do something, anything, for her for days now. He can't stay the hell away from her.

It had started when that asshole bounty hunter touched her in that pool. And as much as he tried, no matter what she says, or does, he can't stop looking out for her. He can't stop that deep insane pull to the stubborn fighter she is.

'Give the kid a break, all right?' Bass looks straight at Miles. Miles looks at Connor. And then, for just one moment he can see an insecure teenager appearing next to Emma at her front door, that day he went to Jasper almost ten years ago to take Connor to his family in Mexico. To hide him from Bass. He feels that old guilt again. He thinks of Emma.

'This is not over yet.' Miles fumes, pointing a finger to Connor, while Bass is still standing between both men. He will give Connor a break, but not for long.

When Miles locks himself in his own misery and walks away from them and Connor refuses to meet his eyes and walks away into the opposite direction with angry defeat in his shoulders, Bass clenches his jaws together.

He feels dark frustration followed by desperation pumping through his veins when Connor and Miles both walk away from him in the middle of their fucking camp. He is breathing harshly and his eyes are fixed on a point on the ground in front of him.

When he finally looks up, she is standing there inside the opening of her tent. Looking at him. Her face is pale, her eyes keep searching his. Before he is able to walk away from her, he has to look at her when their eyes connect and everything else fades away for just one moment.


Bass takes another swig from the bottle. He did not get any sleep and both Miles and Connor are still not talking to him. It is noon and he is standing in front of a fire but he does not see the flames. He stares into a whole lot of nothing while his mind shows him a movie from hell.

He's back in Austin. The sound of the explosion mixes with the nauseating fear of losing Connor and the need to reach him as soon as he can. Images from a hallway filled with dust and destruction and Connor and Charlie on the floor are close.

He lets the whiskey burn in the back of his throat. Scanlon walks past him and greets him. Bass greets him with a short nod. His fingers curl around the bottle. His mind yanks him back to that same day.

Miles has dragged Charlie with him through Austin. Bass won't leave Connor's side while the four of them make their way back to the boat they had left behind. The streets are filled with chaos and whispers about an assassination attempt on Carver. It is the chaos that helps them escape.

When they reach their wagon five miles south of Austin, Bass follows Charlie's eyes when they find Jason's backpack between hers and Miles. He is about to check on the horses but he can't fucking move. He stands there, across from her. His eyes are wide and fill with her grieve and her being so fucking broken while he is taking all of her in as a part of his heart breaks for her.

She won't even look at him. She can't look at Miles. It is a low groan filled with pain coming from Connor that pulls him back to realizing he and Miles have to get them all as far away from Austin as they can. They ride as long as they can.

Two hours before midnight Bass and Miles share one look and they know both Connor and Charlie need rest. They are exhausted. Charlie is slipping away from them and there is a bruise forming on Connor's temple that is slowly spreading to his cheek.

One nod from Miles and half an hour later they find a small abandoned wooden shed in the middle of fucking nowhere. Bass grabs a blanket for Connor. He sits next to his kid, listening to him breathing when he falls asleep.

His eyes find Miles and Charlie at the other side of the shed. The light of the moon falls on Charlotte's face. Her skin is stained with tears and sweat and dirt from three days on the road.

Miles is holding her to his chest. Charlie is far away and his brother looks lost with his arm around her shoulder while he holds her, leaning into one of the walls of the shed with his back.

Bass grabs something out of his pack, before he crouches down in front of both of them. The sounds of the forest are the only sounds out there. Miles' large hand is carefully wrapped around her temple. His fingers are comfort in her hair.

'Found this...' Bass' voice is hoarse. He shows Miles a cloth. He uses some water from his flask to moisten it.

Miles finds his eyes and just nods at him. And with his brother's permission Bass slowly moves his hand towards her face.

'Let me help okay...' Bass swallows as Charlie meets his eyes before she looks away from him again, moving her face back into the nook of Miles' neck. But it is all he needs to understand she is okay with him being close to her. He gently moves the cloth over her face and neck. His fingers slowly move some hair out of her face, while his fingertips linger on her cheek longer than they have to.

Bass feels the memories of the last couple of days burn inside of him like the booze in the back of his throat. He thinks of her. He thinks of his brother and the pain hidden in deep dark eyes that night. And it is the memory of Miles looking like he was drowning in Charlotte's misery, that makes him grab the bottle before he walks away from his spot near the fire.He needs to find his brother.


Rachel is on her way to Charlie's tent with fresh water and some dried fruit. She is torn between giving Charlie space like she asked her a couple of days ago and being unable to stay away from a daughter who has grown up and is living her own life now because of a decision she made a decade ago.

From a distance she watches how Miles is sitting in front of Charlie's tent. He looks tired. Older. Rachel has hardly talked to him.

He is keeping her at a distance since that day she found him staring into a mirror upstairs in their safe house after Truman and Neville had attacked their previous safe house. The day after she had asked him to let Dillon Matthews go. He had.

But she had still seen the doubt in his eyes. She had seen a part of the General he still is. She had watched him talking to Bass. She can see how Bass is dragging Miles back into the mud with him.

Rachel stops with the water and fruit in her hands. She watches Miles. And then, Bass walks to him. He stops before Miles. Bass hands Miles a bottle with a smile on his face. She expects Miles to tell Bass to go to hell but her stomach and whole body fill with disgust when Miles accepts the bottle and Bass sits down next to him.

They both sit there, in front of the tent her daughter is sleeping in. Cold hate follows the disgust when both men share a bottle and their concern for her child. And it is not just Miles accepting something Bass offers him that is making her mouth twitch for one second.

It is also the memory of an old friendship. Of two brothers who were brothers before she had met Ben. Before she had an ugly fling with Miles. Before she loved one Matheson brother more than the other.

It is knowing that Bass has a part of Miles, and a part of him that did not start with lies and guilt and an affair behind Ben's back, that makes familiar dark jealousy swirl inside of her. Rachel watches both men, with a cold look in her eyes when Miles puts the bottle that Bass just gave him to his mouth.