He should be worried about the fucking mustard gas in the train on his left. But when Miles steps away, all that he sees and all that matters is her. Her. When he finally has enough fucking courage to look up, her eyes are not filled with the anger and hate he expected to find there. He does see guilt and fear and honest relief. It almost brings him to his damn knees.

He should look away, but he can't. She nods and it is barely visible. But it is all he can see. She nods to him. With gratitude in her eyes for him. Acknowledging something that has been there for such a long time now.

And they both know, he knows she knows now, that he would never ever let anything happen to her. With an unconscious Neville on the damn ground, so much unsaid between the both of them is reaching the surface.

He swallows in the shadows of a train and the Texan night, when she shows him more of her than she has ever done before.

She has been drifting away from him. But tonight, here, today, with their eyes locked and her heartbeat so close to his he can almost feel it, she is closer than ever.

One year later

He doesn't want to talk to anyone. He just wants to find his damn kid. The rest of the world can go to hell right now. His hands are in the pockets of his leather jacket. His eyes are fixed at a point in the distance. He is ignoring everybody around him when he walks through the main street of Willoughby.

Another month of missions and miserable life lies behind him. The war is over but there is still enough hidden kaki to kill to cool down his hot need for revenge.

Another month of fighting side to side with the man that is mixed inside his own blood no matter what the fuck happens or no matter what the moron says. Another month of fighting side to side with her. Somehow Charlotte had made the decision to keep on fighting with Miles. And him.

With him, with Miles, but without his kid. Connor came back with all of them to Willoughby after the war had ended last summer to try and live his life in Willoughby. Things between them are getting worse with every month they spend here. He can see the misery in his kid's eyes. But this is his kid, his son, and he will not stop fighting for him. And no matter what happens, he will never leave his kid behind.

When he finally finds Connor in an alley near the bar, he is drunk and about to punch some loser asshole in the face. A small crowd has gathered around them.

'Dammit,' He curses while he shoves some people out of the way.

He grabs Connor's arm and yanks him away from his rage and his fight. When the crowd realizes it is Sebastian Monroe who is breaking up the fight, everybody steps away to give him the space he demands with the dark focussed look in his eyes.

He can feel the tension radiate of Connor. He can smell the alcohol on his breath. He is breathing harshly and when Bass looks at him it is like looking in a fucking mirror for one agonizing second. He swallows that thought away when he tries to make Connor listen to him.

'Hey, what the hell happened ?' There is rough frustration in his voice that covers the worry that has been there for months.

Both Monroe men are facing each other. This is not the first time Connor gets himself in trouble. This is not the first time he is drinking way too fucking much. And this is not the first time he is standing in front of his son like this. Connor's rage and hard eyes remind him of a day that is carved in his heart. A day where Connor had almost betrayed him, where his own kid had almost let Tom fucking Neville shoot him. That day had left invisible scars inside of him.

Disbelieve had been drumming inside his ears in the same way horror filled heartbeats had filled his chest when Connor had stood in front of him, ready to step out of the way to let Neville shoot more heartbeat and one last impossible plea to make him understand how much his promise to Miles meant to him and Connor had chosen him. They had killed Neville. They had killed Scanlon. But he still feels like he lost a part of his kid that day.

'Come on Connor, let's go, all right?' The blue in Bass' eyes is softer now.

'Stay the hell away from me.' Connor lashes out when he steps away from him.

Connor's hands are in the pockets of his jeans and there is a loneliness in his step that crushes Bass' heart when he has to watch how his kid walks away from him.

It's two days later and he hasn't seen Connor. Bass is standing in front of the Porter house and he really fucking doesn't want to walk inside. But he knows Miles is probably in there, playing house with his girls.

Maybe he, or Charlie, knows something. He walks into the kitchen and lets the kitchen door slam shut behind him. Rachel looks up, standing in front of Miles who is sitting on a kitchen chair.

'Connor here?' His voice sounds gruff.

'No.' Her eyes are cold when they meet his. 'But he did find Miles.' She nods to the bruises and the cut on Miles' face she is disinfecting.

Bass' mouth opens slightly. He knows Rachel takes it as a personal victory now things between him and Connor are hard. He knows things between Miles and Connor are bad. But this, this is new.

There is a cold smile in her eyes. 'Are you surprised? Surprised he did this to Miles?' Her voice sounds like a lioness sneaking up on her prey.

She cleans the small wound above Miles' eye. When she looks up there is burning loathing in her eyes and voice . 'Connor was always going to turn out like this. Your son, your blood, remember?'

Her words hurt like hell. But more than that, Bass realizes she is enjoying this. He can see it in her eyes. And right there and then, he wants to snap her fucking neck. 'Well, by that logic, Charlie is going to end the world some day.' There is loathing and irritation in his voice he can barely contain, for so much venom aimed at him from the bitch from hell.

'That's enough, both of you.' Miles' voice booms through the kitchen with a tired frustration in it that matches the look in his eyes.

The three of them look up when they hear the sound of boots on the wooden kitchen floor behind them. They all look up to find her looking at them. Charlie stands in the doorway of the kitchen. Her arms are crossed before her chest.

'Cha...Charlie..' Bass swallows and reacts first. He has enough of Rachel's bullshit but he does not want to drag Charlie into all of this now. Fuck. He can only mutter her name in a very pathetic way when he sees the flash of real hurt in her eyes.

Things have been bad with Connor, he knows that. And just because Rachel is being her holier than thou self and never misses an opportunity to tell him how much his kid is the source of all evil, just like he is, it does not mean he wants to hurt Charlie.

'Kid...we...' Miles starts.

Charlie ignores her mother. She ignores Miles. She looks at Bass.

When he finally has the balls to really look at her, the look in her eyes makes him swallow thickly. Her voice is flat when she speaks. 'Found Connor. Dragged his ass to your place and he is passed out on your couch. Thought you wanted to know.

His heart starts to stammer inside his chest when he realizes she came here to find him to tell him his kid was safe. 'I...' there is a thank you forming inside his fucking brain but her eyes tell him to stop talking and go to hell.

Miles takes a step towards Charlie but she walks out of the door without looking at him. They can hear her boots on the porch outside.

'Happy now, huh?' Bass eyes are filled with steel blue when he looks at Rachel.

Rachel meets his eyes with a bitter huff of air. Miles is about to say something to him but he is fucking done.

'Don't bother, I am out of there.'

When Bass walks outside he can see her across the street, with long deep blonde hair that brushes her angry shoulders. A part of him wants to follow her. His life is a fucking mess and the last fucking thing he wanted to do is fuck up whatever is there between him and her. Not when things are what they are between them now.

He fucked up in Philly. She found him in Vegas. She tried to kill him. He saved her. She saved him. They fought. He went to Mexico. He came back. They went to Vegas. They fucked. Her looking at his kid and the way Connor had grinned at her when he had found them in a bar after his negotiations with Duncan, had filled him with unexpected possessive rage.

That rage and the fact he almost died in a dog fight in Gould's tent and the fact Charlotte had fucking stayed to fight for his life, it had all exploded into him yanking her close and her hands grabbing his shirt. He had pushed her against one of the trailers before they had walked to Duncan's camp. It had been fast and an angry fight of lust, giving in, want and rage. When he had filled her for the first time, with one certain deep thrust and a low growl coming deep from within his chest, her eyes had been filled with anger and lust.

She had drifted away from him after New Vegas. Until that night, one year ago when her standing in front of him had yanked him back to her. Knowing that things between them had not been over. Knowing that whatever it was that was happening between the both of them was real. Because he had seen it in her eyes, that night in the shadows of a train in the middle of a Texan night. Her eyes had been filled with guilt for killing that Neville kid. Filled with believing she deserved to die. Filled with relieve and gratefulness she didn't. He will never forget her small nod after he knocked Neville to the damn ground, barely visible but still there when their eyes had locked.

And a part of him wants to follow her while he looks at her in the distance with visible hurt in her tensed shoulders. But he has no idea in hell what he is going to say to her. So he watches her when a deep angry curse fills his head.


Author's Note: Some things are different at the start of this story: Connor and Charlie did not happen in New Vegas and Connor did not betray Bass and came back with him to Willoughby at the end of the second season. Bass' character is the heart of this story. I am really looking forward to explore the dynamics between Connor and Bass, Bass and Miles, Connor and Miles and Bass and Charlie in this story. Love from Love