A/N This story takes place after season one but ignores most of season two. No Patriots, no Conner. Let me know what you guys think!


Rough hands gripping her hips, tongue teasing her neck, sweaty skin delicious under her fingertips. His eyes on her, making her whole body light up with passion, with life. Their bodies moving as one in a frantic rhythm, so close to their ultimate goal.

Charlie is startled awake by the wailing sound coming from the bassinet a few feet from her bed. The heat coursing through her body is familiar, the dream having become a staple of her everyday life the past few months. Groggily getting to her feet, she scoops up the screaming infant, hoping she hadn't woken the entire house. She lifts her tank top and watches her five month old daughter greedily latch onto her nipple, suckling to her own contentment.

It's almost funny how used to this she's gotten. In the past few months her life had become a whirlwind of diapers, breastfeeding, laundry, and more diapers. Her little girl was beautiful and perfect, and she would do anything to keep her safe. Anything.

XxX

Bass wasn't really sure what he was doing anymore. All he knew was that Duncan was a cold hearted bitch and he had to get the hell out of New Vegas. So he left. Honey blonde curls and pale blue eyes still haunting his dreams, his waking thoughts, his every step. Roaming around The Plains was a great way to get yourself killed though and since the old Monroe Republic was completely out of the question, he'd made his way towards Texas.

That's how he ended up here, in some rinky-dink town far enough from Austin to stay off of Carver's radar but still well enough within the confines of the Texas safety net. He actually couldn't even remember the name of the town, something with a 'W', like Wilson or Wilcox. Something like that. Not that it mattered, he just needed some supplies from their market and then he'd be on his way again. Unless he found a nice bar and a pretty lady, then Warren might actually be worth a night. If she was really pretty, he might stay for two.

Bartering with the batty old lady over the oil for his lamp is easy. She's a sucker for a charming smile and he's laying it on thick. He feels a little guilty but his stockpile of diamonds is starting to diminish and without a way to replenish it, he'll have to be extra careful. Almost satisfied with the price, he turns as if deep in thought to see if she'll go any lower, and that's when he sees it. Just a glimpse really, but those curls are unforgettable.

There's no way, right? What are the odds that she would be here?

In the back of his mind Bass vaguely recalls Rachel's family being from Texas, but he'd never given any thought to the information. Until now.

Apologizing quickly for wasting her time, Bass leaves the old lady with her oil, and goes in pursuit of his nighttime vision. The crowd of people is large, the weather perfect for shopping, but he weaves his way in and out of the mass with the ease of someone who's used to thinking on their feet. He's rounding the corner when he catches a glimpse of something equally familiar and heart pounding.

Tall and lanky, pale skin, dark brown hair. Bass notices the sword belt strapped around his brother's waist first but is instantly distracted by the thing Miles is holding in his hands. It's a baby. He holds it up high in the air over his head, the child's squeals of delight audible even over the noisy crowd. Bass watches chubby, little hands reach down to grab Miles' face, his brother pretending to chew on it's tiny fingers.

His heart stops. Even from this distance he can see the tuft of white blonde hair on it's head and the blueness of it's eyes. It's beautiful, filling his heart with a warmth that he didn't even think was possible after all this time. He wipes at his eyes to clear the sudden blurryness and finds his fingertips wet. He's crying. Somewhere deep in his chest, Bass knows that the child isn't just any child, it's his.

XxX

Miles is holding onto little Emily while she talks to Miss Decker about some grains when she feels... it. Like a burning sensation in her lower back that makes her skin clam up. Charlie whips her head around to see what's caused this change in her body, she scans the crowd for threats but sees none.

"Charlie, what's wrong?" Miles asks, now searching the crowd himself, the baby nestled in one arm with his other hand on the hilt of his sword.

Charlie frowns and shakes her head. "Nothing, I just thought..." She hesitates, "I don't know, just had the chills I guess."

Miles scans the crowd one last time before turning her way and putting the back of his hand to her forehead. "Maybe you're coming down with something, we should get you back to Gene."

She can't help but roll her eyes at her overprotective uncle. "I'm fine, Miles. We're almost done here, then we can go home." But the burning in her spine doesn't seem to go away.

XxX

There she is. All blonde curls and blue eyes. Just like he remembered her. Only now she was different. Her hips were a little wider - he'd spent a lot of time thinking about those hips - and her shirt couldn't hide the still slightly swollen flesh of her abdomen. He saw her back straighten, her head turning to look into the crowd. Rather than letting himself get spotted, he ducked down and sped off into an alley.

Bass took deep breaths to try an calm himself down. Why was he so worried anyway? He wasn't doing anything wrong, he was allowed to pass through random towns in the middle of no where. He chances a look out onto the street, catching Miles with his hand on Charlie's forehead. He can't help but chuckle. When had Miles become Mr. Mom?

He watches the trio from a distance, crushing the little voice in his head that keeps telling him to go to her. If he's right, if that really is his kid, then this has to be done carefully. He'll have to watch from a distance and find the best way to approach them.

Approach Miles, or Charlie? And say what exactly, 'hey, is that my kid?'

No. He needs to be smart. The Matheson's hate him more than anything, but he'll be dead before he let's that stand in the way of him and his child. He'll watch and wait. Bide his time until he comes up with a plan.

When they leave the market he follows at a reasonable distance. It seems that life in suburbia has made Miles soft since he isn't even trying to check for a tail. Oh well, that just makes it easier for him. As they near an old, white house near the end of a street he veers off into somebody's backyard in order to skirt around to the back without being seen.

As the back of the house comes into view he has to hold back an audible groan. Rachel Matheson is in the yard wearing a large flowered hat and gloves, wielding a small shovel in the garden. He hates her. God, does he hate her.

Resisting the urge to pull out his gun and blow her brains out right there, he backtracks further into the woods to get a good vantage point. He climbs an old tree and pulls out his ancient binoculars. Rachel's still in the garden, but now she's on her feet holding the baby - his baby - while Miles digs in the dirt. Charlie's head pop's out of the back door and he can see them all speaking to each other, probably talking about stupid town gossip, unaware that he is watching.

XxX

Charlie still feels the burning in her back, but ignores it while she and Grandpa make dinner. When the food is all gone, Emily fed, changed, and put to bed, she and Miles sit out on the back porch together to enjoy a drink.

The sun is setting and Miles is on his third glass when he slings an arm around her shoulders and pulls her close. "You know that guy Rick was asking about you again."

She rolls her eyes. "And I'm still not interested."

Miles chuckles and kisses the top of her head. "I know. I just worry about you, you know? You disappeared for months and then showed up pregnant, claiming to have no idea who the father is-"

"I told you, Miles, it was a one night thing-"

"I know, I know," he sighs. "It's just not like you, that's all. You know you can tell me anything, right?" He looks at her, his face full of the emotions he usually keeps locked up inside.

"I know," she whispers softly, "but there's nothing to tell. I really don't remember."

Miles nods and kisses her forehead. "Night, kid."

"Goodnight." She watches her uncle sway slightly before finally making it through the doorway. The guilt she's been carrying with her for over a year burning in her chest.

XxX

He can't believe that Miles left Charlie alone, outside, in the dark. What the hell? That's just asking to get your niece kidnapped!

He watches her rise from the porch, his worry subsiding because he figures she must be heading inside, but it comes back in full force when she descends the steps into the yard. Without really thinking, Bass is out of the tree and on the ground before he can tell his brain that this is a bad idea. His feet automatically carry him in her direction. She's filling a bucket with water from the pump and before he has the chance to turn and run back Charlie's already looking directly at him.

The blood pounding in his ears is so loud that he barely registers her shriek of surprise, or fear, either one. The back door bangs open and Bass is gone before whoever it is, probably Miles, can make it down the steps. He runs, fast and hard, as far as he can.

XxX

Charlie's staring at the spot that he had just been standing in. Him. The man she'd been trying not to think about for months, the one that plagues her dreams every night. And he was there. Or had she imagined it? He disappeared so quickly that now she wasn't so sure.

Miles appears at her side, gun in one hand and sword in the other, all traces of the whiskey he'd drunk gone. "What's wrong?"

"Uh-I-uh..." She shakes her head to try and clear her jumbled thoughts. It couldn't have been him. It wasn't. She takes a deep breath just as her mother comes stomping out onto the porch, shotgun in hand. "Nothing," she lies easily, "I think it was just a raccoon. Scared me. Sorry, guys."

Miles and Rachel both sag with relief. "It's alright, sweetheart," her mother says. "Just next time, try not to give me a heart attack. I would actually like to see my granddaughter grow up."

Charlie nods with a smile, looking over at Miles who suddenly looks a little tipsy again. "Sorry, Grandpa, won't happen again."

He glares, but with no real menace behind it. "How many times do I have to tell you, it's Uncle, not Grandpa."

Rolling her eyes, Charlie leads her uncle into the house, her eyes flicking back to the water pump, wondering if Monroe had really been there or if she'd just had too much to drink.