Rachel entered into the living room of the ranch style house they had occupied after vacating the water plant that The Patriots had ambushed the night before. She was focused on grabbing her backpack and heading out to see if there were any supplies or food to forage in the area. She was half-way into the room when she realized he was there, Bass. He was leaning on the doorframe from the kitchen entry watching her. His jaw was locked and eyebrows furrowed in her direction.
He was pissed about Miles siding with her over letting Dylan, a young boy recruited by The Patriots, escape and she knew it.
Rachel's pace slowed when she saw him and her eyes locked on his as she picked up her backpack. Just as she turned to go she sensed Bass lunging towards her. Rachel spun to face him and immediately backed away, half-stumbling into the hall entry. Over the years she had learned that there was no reasoning with him; he closed the gap between them quickly and grabbed the bag dropping it behind his feet. Bass reached up slamming the slightly ajar door shut behind Rachel and swiftly pinning her against it. She let out a gasp as the wind left her chest from the force of hitting the door. She winced as she bit her lip then then tipped her chin up looking at him defiantly, non-verbally asking him if he was really doing this. His right hand was against the door stretching his arm past her head blocking her only exit.
"What am I gunna do with you Rachel?" He whispered through slightly clenched teeth.
His left hand moved raptly to hold her throat firmly as his thumb stroked the soft skin along her jaw. His tone was the same one she had heard over and over again when she was his prisoner.
She looked into his steely blue eyes and said in a quiet but stoic tone "Step back."
He shook his head in refusal.
"What's your plan Rachel? Do you have a plan? Because the way I see it, you ARE going to get us all killed with your bleeding heart bullshit. Is that what you want?!"
His hand tightened around her neck and she felt her nose begin to flare as she tried to swallow. She moved her hand up to hold the wrist that was locked around her throat and tried turning for the doorknob with the other in an attempt to break free. Bass turned up his elbow against her successfully re-pinning her shoulder to the door while maintaining his grip. He leaned in pressing his knee between her thighs.
"Just because you are fucking Miles, does not mean you know a fucking thing about him. You, Rachel, will never know him the way I do and at the end of the day- you're always going to be wrong."
He smirked and moved a strand of her blond hair away from her face gently placing it behind her ear. The corner of Rachel's mouth began to twitch, and her eyes were beginning to water as she tried to steady her breathing. There was something about Bass's touch that had always made her weak.
Suddenly, the doorknob began to turn from the outside.
"We are not finished." Bass spat as he quickly retreated nearly tripping over the backpack on the floor, releasing Rachel. Sweat was forming on his brow. The door pushed open into Rachel who found herself frozen in place against it. It was Charlie, her head popped in when she realized the door was being blocked by something.
"Hey!" Her eyes darted between the Rachel and Monroe.
"Am I interrupting something?" Her eyes locked on Rachel who was staring at nothing.
"Mom?" Charlie's gaze moved to Monroe.
"Is there something going on here that I need to know about?"
"Nope" Bass said wiping his palms on this pants and leaning down to pick up Rachel's bag before holding it out to her. Rachel stepped forward slowly raising her eyes to meet Bass's and awkwardly took the bag as Charlie opened the door wider.
"Okay?…" Charlie let Rachel out past her, and watched suspiciously as she robotically turned, walked down the steps and around the side of the house.
Rachel purposefully headed away from Miles, Gene and the others who had gathered around an old truck in the driveway to try and map out the area. Charlie shot Monroe a look then walked back onto the porch watching their team for a moment before casually slipping around the house in search of her mom. Following Rachel's tracks was pretty easy, it had recently rained and the top layer of dirt was loosened enough to see every print. Charlie saw her mother's long stride pathed out before her as it turned behind a small wood shed.
Charlie stopped as she rounded the corner and saw her mom's thin frame huddled down, back against the building with her fingers buried in her hair. Her face was contorted into a silent cry as she dropped her head. The thought crossed Charlie's mind that she could still slide away without Rachel seeing her, but that idea quickly dissolved when she heard the release of a sob that was coming from the broken blonde before her. Charlie quietly knelt down, placing a hand on Rachel's shoulder.
"Mom?" Rachel's head jerked as she flinched involuntarily and then looked up giving an "I'm sorry" look to her daughter. Charlie dropped down next to Rachel and leaned back beside her, allowing her mother to feel her presence but not pressing . Charlie liked to call moments like this "What would Nora do?" moments. She never had much experience in the empathy department and Nora was the one who taught her that sometimes saying nothing was the best option. A few minutes passed and Rachel's breathing began to steady. She kept her head lowered letting her curls conceal her face. Charlie dug a grey bandana out of her pocket and passed it to Rachel.
"You wanna talk about it?" she said. Rachel shook her head "no" as she let out a half laugh
"Lookit you." She smiled weakly turning her body towards Charlie as she accepted the kerchief and began drying her eyes.
Charlie knew what she meant by those little words even though she couldn't say it. Her mom was proud of her becoming such a strong, determined, independent woman and she also seemed slightly embarrassed that she didn't seem to be meeting those same standards.
She arched a brow and smiled back widely as reached over to pull Rachel into a hug. They had been through so much apart that it had been hard to come back together but lately Charlie had the feeling that they were finally both moving from the past to the present which was allowing them to understand each other. Rachel put the kerchief on her knee and brushed a chunk of hair back behind her ear simultaneously making the same motion to her daughter as they separated.
Charlie's expression dropped as she caught sight of the red marks rounding Rachel's throat. Still inflamed and already beginning to bruise. Rachel, quickly brought her hand down to cover her neck while shaking her head "no" again but it was too late.
"Hey… Charlie…" Rachel said calmly. Charlie was already on her feet
"Did he do that? Monroe?!" Her voice was piercing and she was fuming. Rachel grasped for Charlie's hand.
"Charlie…" She tried again.
"No, mom, this is not okay- look at me!"
With those words, Rachel met Charlie's eyes and they both held their breath at what they read there. Charlie saw hesitation and fear in her mother, and Rachel saw what could only be described as a heated expression belonging solely to Miles.
"I'm fine, Ok? Listen to me. Hey. " Rachel pleaded as she stood and took hold of her daughter's upper arms. In a slow intense motherly tone she said
"There are some things that just can't be fixed."
Charlie paused in contemplation for a moment searching Rachel's eyes before settling on her neck. She took a breath and nodded in agreement. Rachel sighed in relief, releasing her hold. Charlie stepped back,
"Some things can't be… but THIS can" with that she turned on her heel and darted back towards the house.
Rachel's eyes widened as she started after her
Monroe was loitering just to the right of the steps beside driveway. He was leaning against the railing biting an apple as Charlie came flying around the corner. She pulled her hunting knife from her belt and charged at him-
"Who do you think you are?" Her face was red with purpose.
The 8 men standing around the truck had all stared in disbelief as Charlie brought her knife up to Bass's throat.
"Maybe she should've let you die!" Charlie spat venomously at Monroe. He smirked and raised his hands defensively.
"Whoa tiger, calm down now...little help here, Miles?" Bass said dryly.
Miles and Connor exchanged a look and both advanced towards Charlie halting quickly when Charlie's 5 men that had been assigned to her by Duncan began advancing on them.
"She could've let you die but she saved you and this is how you treat her?!" Charlie repeated.
Bass's smirk faded and his eye twitched as he watched *her appear from the side of the house. She was keeping her distance -looking at Miles, not Charlie- and she was chewing on her bottom lip- like he knew she always did when things were out of her control.
"Awe c'mon! SHE is going to get us killed, both of them are! Am I the only one who sees them for what they are?" He shouted shifting his gaze to Gene, who was patiently lingering behind.
Miles's eyes narrowed curiously when he saw Rachel's face- clearly he'd missed something. He took a step towards Bass.
"Charlie, let me."
Charlie's nostrils flared but she and the men backed off allowing Miles to approach.
"What IS she Bass?" Miles said lowly, the pools in his eyes darkening.
"SHE is a liability." He replied coldly keeping his gaze on Rachel.
Miles huffed in amusement. "Really? Were they a liability when they saved you from lethal injection? O- or was she a liability when she saved our caged asses in Mexico? Was she a liability as your personal prisoner in Philadelphia? Is that why you let me think she was dead?"
Charlie knew she hadn't heard that story but it suddenly hit her like a brick that there were a lot of dark years that she had no idea about between Monroe and Rachel. That's what her mom was trying to say without having to explain it.
Miles continued relentlessly "Who is she a liability to? Because you had every chance to kill her then and you didn't. Why? Was it really about the power Bass? Or just power? Power over who? Her? Me?" Rachel has every right to hate you."
"Let's not be too morally high here Miles, you're the one who took her in the first place. I just did what you didn't have the balls to do." Bass interjected as Miles's nose twitched in anger.
"Look, we are all capable of getting each other killed. I would like to think we're stronger together and this? Whatever this is.. is not helping anyone"
Charlie's expression reflected Miles's – she looked back to Connor, who was trying to unravel all the new things he was learning about his father.
"Now, does someone want to tell me what started this?" Miles looked first to Charlie then Bass.
Charlie's glanced over to Rachel but she was no longer there. Her eyes darted around but she was gone.
"Nope" Charlie regurgitated Monroe's words back in his face as she placed her knife back in its holster and walked off. Miles too turned to look for Rachel and when he didn't find her he sighed and stepped back from Bass
"For the record- I trust them to have my back more than I trust you to." Miles said sideways as he walked away.
The group disbursed , all except Connor who casually moved over and sat down on the step. Bass wasn't sure what he expected from his son but he sat down next to him anyhow.