This one-shot is answering the third round of the prompt challenge for the Fanfiction subreddit. Take a look if you're interested, since there seems to be a lot of fun going down there. We'd like to see you some time.

The prompt was, Make Me Feel:

"The story begins with digging a grave. Mentioning any emotions is not allowed. Make the reader feel what the characters feel through dialogue or body language."

I chose Fallout since the prompt immediately made me think of Benny in the beginning of Fallout: New Vegas where he shoots you in the head and then buries you. This is a bit of a reversal on that.

Quote of the Day:

"You won't turn to drink, will you? You stoic types often do, when disappointed in life."

Marc Antony, Rome

As she watched the Courier continue to dig Benny's grave on the outskirts of some bum-fuck town called Goodsprings, Cass found herself unsure of why the hell they were even there in the first place.
It wasn't the first time that they had ever killed anyone. It wasn't the first time that she herself had played a part in someone's death without exactly knowing what they were about. The only thing Cass knew about the man other than the fact that he thought he was slicker than he actually turned out to be, was that for a few months, finding Benny was the one goal that completely engulfed the Courier. She had been at his side for that journey that seemed to have been going on for decades, even if the timespan was much closer to only half a year. The only thing that she could tell for sure was that Benny and the Courier had crossed paths, once upon a time, and that there was a score between them that needed to be settled.

She took a long drink from her whiskey, knowing that her turn to dig would soon be up, and Cass found herself shaking her head at the thought, not knowing what the fuck direction her life had ended up taking. Although things could admittedly be shit back at home, at least there was some semblance of rule of law. Out here in the Mojave though? The only rule was the rule of strength. The Bear, the Bull, the Courier. Did it even fucking matter? She took another drink, the whiskey tasting just as bitter as her memories.

"Alright, my turn is up," the Courier said as he dropped his shovel into the dirt and climbed out of what they had dug so far of Benny's grave.

The only response that Cass gave was to offer the Courier some of her whiskey when he sat down beside her, which he accepted without any kind of hesitation. It was rare to find someone who could keep up with her when it came to drinking, but she supposed that at least there was one thing about her friend she could be sure about. Hell, she didn't even know his real name. When she glanced back to the hole they had been digging all night, it was a quiet realization that she didn't know the reasons for half the things he did.

"Why the hell are we doing this?" She wondered out loud with a frown, the chill of the desert night finally beginning to dawn on her.

Taking another drink, the Courier only shrugged. "People usually bury dead bodies, Cass."

She looked at him and rolled her eyes, Cass perceptive of the fact that there was no way that the Courier didn't know what she actually meant. He was a slick one, she had to admit, Cass becoming well aware in their travels that although the Courier heavily relied on his guns, that he could talk his way out of most situations if he was cornered into it. He should have known better than to try his words on her though. She had seen through his bullshit from day one.

"Okay, I guess the question is, why are we doing this for that tooth-grinned piece of shit? We wasted good caps paying that caravan to haul his dead ass back to this shithole."

Another shrug. "I killed Benny. I feel I owe him as much."

"We kill lots of people," Cass countered, pulling her mostly gone whiskey out of the Courier's hand to take a drink herself, "and we usually just leave them where they die."

The Courier was silent for a moment. She could see him thinking. She could see him glancing at the well-wrapped corpse that was resting beside a nearby campfire. It was a strange time that night in the Mojave Desert. It was quiet and peaceful, and for a moment Cass could almost believe that the world had never ended, that it had never shattered just like glass.

"Your father was a good man, wasn't he?" The Courier finally replied, asking a question that Cass had never expected to hear.

John Cassidy had never really been a big part of her life, having gone East of California when she was young, before vanishing. The Wasteland was a dangerous place, and it wasn't a new story that those with wanderlust more often than not succumbed to the horrors of this broken world. John Cassidy had left her with little more than a pendant, a heart condition, and stories from her mother.

Remembering those stories, Cass' response was a quiet one. "He was a complicated man, but I'd like to say he was a good one."

The Courier nodded, accepting that answer. "Most things about my past are a blur, Cass. I remember bits and pieces here and there. I can't remember my name. I can't remember the first girl I kissed. I can't remember the name of the town where I grew up. The one thing I can remember though is my father, and the fact that he wasn't a good man."

Hearing his confession, Cass was unsure whether or not the mystique of her friend was because he was indeed a mysterious person, or if that mystery only existed because he himself could only barely remember his past. Would they still be here if the Courier could remember who he used to be? Glancing down at the revolver holstered at his hip, she had a hard time believing that he would still be delivering mail.

With no interruption from Cass, the Courier continued on. "He would beat me and my brothers and my mom, until there was no mom left to beat anymore. I don't know whether he killed her or whether she simply up and left one day, but what I do know is that somewhere in the memories I have left, she vanished."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Aren't we all, Cassidy?" the Courier paused for a second, frowning at a memory, "I remember being hungry a lot as a kid. I remember dear old dad never having the money to keep us fed, but all the same always having just enough caps to keep on going with his jet addiction."

"A man has to have a code," the Courier mimicked what Cass could only assume was his father, "a man pays his debts."


"This is me paying my debt to Benny, just like how back in New Vegas I made him pay his debt back to me."

It was a queer way to think. She did suppose however that a man's father usually had a profound effect on how they turned out to be. She took another drink of her whiskey, staring at Benny's corpse all the while. "We could have buried him in Vegas."

The Courier shook his head. "It had to be here."

"Here?" Cass was incredulous. "Who the fuck has ever even heard of Goodsprings?"

"It had to be here," he repeated once more, pointing in the direction of the grave, "in that exact location where we've been digging all fucking night."


"Because that was where Benny buried me after he shot me in the head."

She wasn't sure what kind of reaction the Courier was looking for when he said that, but either way she couldn't help but laugh. Handing the alcohol back to him so he could finish it off, it wasn't that hard for her to believe that her friend could survive a Mojave execution in the desert night.

"Whatever else they say about you, Courier, you're one tough motherfucker," Cass said at last, still laughing.

"It's the whiskey," the Courier replied back, downing what was left of the amber liquid that had almost become their third companion at this point.

The silence returned then as they sat together, broken only by the occasional sounds of the desert. It was a strange and broken world, but that didn't mean that there weren't nights where they could simply sit back and enjoy them. As Cass looked around and found another trusty bottle of liquid courage, she thought of John Cassidy, and hoped that he had enjoyed a few nights like this before he vanished. She glanced over at her friend beside her, and began to wonder about his father as well.

"Do you remember whatever happened to your father?"

The Courier was quiet for a moment, before he nodded. "A man pays his debts."

They continued to sit in silence, enjoying the peace, and enjoying their whiskey. The two of them had crossed paths at strange times in each other's' lives. The whiskey was bitter and sweet, the warm smell of colitas was rising up in the air, and the world was almost beautiful. Although he didn't say as much about his father, Cass couldn't help but think that this wasn't the first time that the Courier had dug a grave in the desert night.

Thanks for reading. Leave a review if you'd like.