Written for the GSC 500 fan fic event. A bit longer story.

Rated M for later chapter(s), slight angst, some smut and for the strong language.

I do not own anything.

Blue denim jeans

Chapter 1

North Texas, somewhere near Pottsboro

"You're delusional.", Charlie whispered.

"When I'm gone, you won't be able to track me."

Bass had waited until he couldn't see her anymore. Charlie's last words echoed in his mind, like a constant replay he couldn't stop. He moved the horses and the carriage to the side of the road. Then made sure that the horses had grass they could eat. After that he checked his weaponry and only hoped that the horses and the carriage would still be here when he would return, hopefully with Charlie. Without her Miles and Rachel would never accept him.

He knew he wasn't an avid tracker. But he could follow her if he could keep some distance between them, but trying not to reveal himself to her. He had to be sneaky and walk in the side of the road, where the bushes made it hard to see him.

Then he went after her. He was scared she might have been got too far or taken a turn off the road, so he ran until he saw her behind again. Then he jumped into the bushes.

Monroe followed her until it was dark. He arrived at the yard of a shady bar in Pottsboro.

He realized soon that Charlie was in trouble by listening the sounds of fight. The door didn't open so he had to bust it in. He felt the warm, smelly air of grown men locked in a small area. The scents of different liquors, food and cigarette smoke. Hint of blood on one of the guys who where staring at him like he was their new God, fallen from the skies. Except no one was a believer.

Apparently Charlie had managed to punch some of them. His chest filled with pride.

He looked around and saw Charlie, half conscious, huddled down, her back against the wall. He knew what they were trying to do to her. It ignited his need to protect her. And his rage. He drew his blades and let himself feel every bit of that hatred. And the wrath of pissed Monroe fell upon them.

By the time he had finished his latest victim, Charlie was barely conscious. He gazed her, assessing her injuries. He couldn't see any. She went completely out when he was watching her. A knot of fear tightened in his stomach. Would she die? He didn't know what they had given her and how much. He crouched near her and pressed her wrist, trying to find a pulse. It was there, just a little too slow. Then he put his hand over her face. She was still breathing. He breathed in, calming himself down.

He put her on the floor, so she could breath better when he was searching for anything they could use on their trip to Willoughby. He checked the cabinets and found a something shiny. A set of various canned food. He found a bag and put them there. He stole a can opener too. He was afraid to touch anything which wasn't packed. The men might have added the drugs into anything. And he wouldn't know it before it would be too late. Then he saw some old booze bottles, with labels from the past, up in the top shelf. Grabbing them too, he went back to Charlie.

He wondering how he could get to the carriage with unconscious young woman, when it was a few miles away. He stole a lantern from the bar and left her inside to check the back yard. He found a wheelbarrow. It seemed to be in a good condition. He took it and tried to find something to soften it. He found some old straws and a couple of blankets from a barn. He took the wheelbarrow close to the front door and went inside to get her.

He pulled Charlie against himself, holding her neck with his other hand, to stop her head from flopping down. And lifted. It felt weird. She was warm, her curves against his wiry muscled body. She smelled still pretty good, after all the sweat from the day she had walked and fought the men.

He placed her better in his arms and carried her out and put her into the wheelbarrow. One blanket under her and one over her. Then he set down the bag next to her. He had to put out the fire in the lantern.

He walked, pushing the wheelbarrow, with Charlie and his gear in them. Suddenly it started to rain. He went past different options in his mind of what to do and where to go. Trying to remember anywhere they could go. He needed to get the horses that no one would steal them and the carriage. He picked up the pace.

Finally they were so close he could check the horses. They were okay. He needed to move them. The beasts needed to drink and eat. He packed Charlie into the carriage and the bag. Then he ditched the wheelbarrow. Then he prepared the horses. He had think about it for awhile. It was a long time since he had harnessed horses in front of a carriage.

He drove many miles in the rain. They had to get away from the bar and the dead men. As far as they could if someone would come after them. Sudden thunder made the horses restless. When the thunder became more frequent, he realized they needed cover.

He was driving the trotting horses on some road, now on the open countryside. When he saw a shed when the thunder lit the scenery. And behind it, and old train tristle. It was high from the ground, standing on poles. They would be dry and safe under it.

Bass put the horses into the old barn with the carriage. He cut fresh grass for them. And found a well with some buckets, from the front yard. It was still working. He filled the buckets and took them to the horses. Now they were safe and fed. He needed to set up a fire place. It wasn't a safe thing to do in the barn. So he needed to get everything under the old construction. First he carried still unconscious Charlie there. Then his gear and the blankets.

Some time later it was still raining and thundering. He had set up a fire and opened a can of unknown stew. He put it on the frying pan. While it was bubbling, he stirred it with his knife. He tasted the food. It was edible.

Charlie slept the whole day. Bass took care of the horses. He made a pasture for them from the things he found in the barn, ate and many times lied down, thinking. Occasionally checking if she was still alive. He bathed in the near by river, quickly, eager to get back to check on Charlie. In the evening he warmed another batch of canned food.

The last thing Charlie remembered in her hazy waking brain, was Monroe's hollow gaze, with a blank face. The darkness in his eyes. In the bar, after he had killed them all, except her.

She heard the rain hitting on something, but she registered that it didn't hit her skin. She felt cold. She could smell the strong scent of rain and the moist ground and something burning.

Her eyelids were heavy and she was having a hard time to get them open. The air was cool and damp. But she sensed heat emanating from somewhere close.

She was lying on a ground, tall grass around her. She managed to lift herself up a bit, on her elbows. Monroe was there. He was cooking something which looked like bear's vomit with berries. It smelled funky too. She was still a bit queasy so that smell didn't help.

Monroe threw the canteen at her. "Drink."
Charlie didn't answer. Her throat was too dry. She tried to get up and away from him, but her feet didn't carry her weight. She hated him so much she didn't want to be near him.

"Take it easy.", she heard Monroe say, several times.

Charlie slumped on the ground. She took the canteen and drank. Not obeying his commands, she mustered all the energy she had and tried to stand up. She managed that for a second. Then, one wobbling step away from him and another. She heard him like from a distance, the rustling of the grass in his feet as he gained her easily.

She started feeling dizzy, her vision blurry and the ground was coming closer too fast. Before she fell on to the ground, face forward, she felt strong hands grabbing her. He whirled her around and Charlie slammed against him. In her haze she still registered how warm he was, his hard muscles under his clothes, the way he breathed, his stubble so close to her head, it touched her forehead. How good he smelled when she closed her eyes. Bass half dragged, half walked her, back under the train trestle.

"Damn you Charlie!"

"Leave me alone. You bastard."

"You don't know me, Charlotte.", he interrupted.

"I fucking hate you!" she exclaimed and kicked him into his shin. He didn't let go of her but she heard him curse under his breath.

Then it struck her, the thought settling in her mind, from what he had probably saved her from. Her fatigue was to blame, when she felt she couldn't control her emotions anymore. The trauma, being scared and shame of going there alone burned her inside. She felt her eyes watering up.

No, not in front of Monroe.

Her mind and body didn't listen. She sobbed, first a bit. When Monroe pulled her into an embrace, she cried, not caring about what Monroe might thought about it anymore.

Monroe had mixed feelings. This was one of the many times he had held Charlie in his arms over the last couple of days. He kept noticing how clearly she was a female, every time, but he did his all to push that information into the back of his mind. He hadn't been used to closeness. It had been such a long time than anyone had hugged him. Last time he had had slept with someone… It was in New Vegas. It felt like ages ago. When Charlie had fallen against him, he had felt worry, yet his mind busy registering how her body felt pressed hard over his chest.

When Charlie started to cry, he regretted how angry he had been at her just a moment ago. He had been afraid if she would have hurt herself with that stunt she tried. Yet, he felt great being able to just hold someone after a long time. Being able to bring comfort to Charlie. Still, a whirlwind of thoughts running trough his mind, wanting to keep her safe, protecting her. And the most primitive of them all, wanting her like crazy. He tried to ignore it. But it kept coming back like a hungry stray dog, biting him whenever he let his guard low.

Charlie stopped crying. "Did they have time to… you know what I mean."

"No, they didn't.", Monroe said.

"Did you have your way with me? I guess with your reputation you were tempted."

"I don't sleep with drugged women.", he said harshly and let her go.

Instantly regretting that, when she started to sway again. Worried she might fall, this time he grabbed her from her shoulders.

"Or with Miles's niece."

"Oh Monroe, what an angel.", she smiled coldly, her voice laced with sarcasm.

"They were more than willing in New Vegas.", he smirked.

"I bet they were. It's rare to find someone so completely cold, power grazed and psychotic son of a bitch. It must be fascinating to some weirdos."

Monroe felt now irritated. "You don't know what it was like there. And for what I know, you don't keep your pants on tight either."

He watched the surprise on Charlie's face. Then she was looking pale. "I think I'm gonna black out again."
He helped her to the bedroll and put a blanket over her. "I'll be here when you wake up.".

Then she was out.

Bass put his bedroll close to hers, when he was sure she was sleeping. Then he tried to get some sleep too.

He woke up to a weird noise. Charlie was apparently going to puke. He made sure she was okay. He held her hair back when she was retching. She threw up and almost fell. He kept her up.

Charlie was wondering why Monroe bothered to help her. She felt him, holding her in his strong arms. Then it started again. This time it hurt, because her stomach was empty. She threw up some bile and left a snuffle while trying to cry so that Monroe wouldn't notice.

"It will pass.", he said gently.

She was still trying to wrap her head around this new side of Monroe. But couldn't help herself feeling sick again.

Monroe felt relieved. The worst was over apparently. And she was alive. After hours of throwing up she had finally stopped puking her guts out and managed to keep some water inside. She had been exhausted and sore. He watched her sleep peacefully.

It wouldn't have been good if she would have died in his arms. Then there was no way back to Miles. Or was it completely about that? He knew the girl. Or this young woman. Who was Miles' niece. It was only natural to care about her because she was part of Miles' family. So, that made her a part of his family, in a way.

A few days later…

Monroe needed to think. Many times they fell into easy silence. Luckily she let him be. But not this time.

"What is wrong with you Monroe? You haven't said a word in couple of hours and you haven't talked much on the whole leg either."

"I didn't know I could piss you off by staying silent.", he said, watching the road instead of glancing at her.

"It's annoying. Not pissing me off."


"Fine. Be silent then."

Charlie crossed her arms and pursed her lips.

"I don't know what to talk about."

"You could start by telling me what happened."


Charlie snorted. "What do you think."

"I saved you."

"There was more than that. What happened when I went out?"

"I carried you. And then I found a wheelbarrow."

"Thanks.", she said.

Monroe gazed her. "It was nothing."

The horses suddenly got scared of something Bass couldn't see and they ran as fast as they could , the heavy carriage clattering as it was about to brake and it's suspense creaking. He was doing his best to keep them in the right direction.

Charlie woke up from her slumber and almost fell off from the ride. Before falling down she felt a strong grip on her arm. Bass. He only let go when he knew she had regained her balance. She wasn't afraid although the horses still ran fast. Bass guided them to keep the carriage on the road. He looked fierce, his hair flowing in the wind. He had braced himself between the bench and the foot rest. The look on his face serious, grim.

Finally, the horses started to calm down, after running like hell for the last mile.

She heard Bass' low voice, as he was calming the horses down. It was the same tone he had used to calm her down, when she was sick from the drugs in her system. Bass got them to walk.

"We should let them rest somewhere.", he said, when he was in control of them again.

In the morning Charlie checked that Monroe was still asleep. He seemed to be. She stripped from her clothes and took a ragged towel with her. She had found an old tube top with undies from an abandoned house they had raided earlier. She changed to them on the beach of the river. She walked into the cool water, shivering a bit. The sun was already shining, warming the cool night air. She saw how the sun rays went through the misty air far away, near the forest line.

She walked slowly deeper into the water, until only her head was above it. Then she saw something moving in her peripheral vision. She felt metallic, cold fear grip her insides until she realized it was Monroe. She breathed deep.

"God damn you Monroe!", she exclaimed.

"Saw you leaving."

"I thought you were sleeping."

"Hearing you rustling through your stuff woke me up."

He removed his shirt and threw it on the ground. Then he kicked off his boots and peeled off his socks. Walking closer, slowly.

Charlie backed to the water.

She couldn't get her eyes off on his body, his hair and when he turned to her direction, his eyes. His gaze compelling, like a predator to a pray. She had to force herself to turn that she wouldn't stumble upon something. Then she turned back, to see what he was up to.

She didn't know what she would do if he would completely get rid of his clothes. He was coming at her, then he passed her, way too close. She got his scent and felt the heat trail he left. He went deeper in the water and stopped. He was apparently working on his pants. It seemed hard but finally she saw him throwing wet jeans towards the shore.

"Oh fuck's sake.", she muttered, when she realized he would come out from the body of water, fully naked.

Apparently he heard her, she was awarded with a smirk. Then he dove into the stream.

Charlie minded her own business. Then she started to wonder what the fuck took him so long. He was still under.

Suddenly he emerged right in front her, breathing in deep and shaking his head. She startled and jumped. "For fuck's sake, Monroe!"

He smiled, baring the white of his teeth.
She found herself deeper in the water. He still smiled until she got up. His smile disappeared. So did her tube top. She froze. Her breasts were free, in all of their glory.

She watched him rise from the water like a bronze god, with dark curly hair. He slowly approached her until he stood right in front of her. He grabbed the tube top which was now useless and covering her waist. Charlie couldn't look away. She watched his face, so close, his hands, fingers, coil in the fabric.

He was fully concentrating on the task at hand. Pulling the damn thing up and one by one, cover her breasts with the wet cloth. She felt the coldness make her nipples hard. She half wished he would accidentally touch her. But on the other side, it would make things too complicated.

When he was done, he gazed her. She didn't know what he was thinking. But he seemed curious of her. The look in his eyes observant. Without the usual Monroe grumpiness, he looked beautiful. His sky blue eyes against his suntanned skin and dark hair framing his face. And the stubble on his jaw.

"Don't tell me you haven't seen this kind of stuff before." she quipped.

"Well, I have, but not yours."

Monroe walked to the beach and Charlie no matter how hard she tried not to peek, she had to look at him. She saw his ass. Full, round, muscled wiry like the rest of him.

"Oh fuck.", she said.

Charlie heard Monroe laughing. But he left her alone to wash herself, walking away with his clothes, until she couldn't see him anymore.
She realized that the damn bastard probably knew what he was doing to her. She was annoyed, yet same time she felt exhilarated for him. She didn't want to feel that way. Not for him.

I'm sorry if I'm a bit rusty, it's been so long since I have written anything. IRL there has been massive setbacks over the last years, so I'm trying to get back into writing. Leave a comment if you like. Thank you!