When Charlie gets home she is tired, she's cold and she's in a Matheson mood. It's dark outside and the December world outside of her home feels even more desolated this time of the year. Even after she has closed her front door behind her, some of the dark desolation lingers in her house.

She gets out of her jacket and out of her boots. She needs a drink and she will pour herself a drink the way only Mathesons can. But right now, her cold and almost numb hands remind her that she needs something warm. She curses at the December wind that seems to flow through the walls of her home while she walks straight to her bedroom to grab her favorite sweater she wears on nights like these.

Pale moonlight streams through the window and when she walks inside her bedroom, she knows something is different right before her brain registers what is different. But there it is, waiting for her on her bed. A long, flowy, beautiful dress in a silky deep blue color. There are shoes with heels that are just perfect. And right there waiting for her on her bed next to the dress is a silver necklace that is simple but so beautiful that she has to move her fingers over the silver to tell herself it's real.

And she knows there is only one man on this earth who could have picked this for her. She curses. And then she smiles. He remembered.

The party is busy, the room is filled with the scent of cigars, whiskey and people having a good time. And when Bass looks around, he has to admit that StayPuft knows how to throw a party. He has just ordered his whiskey. He's casually leaning against the bar. But his eyes move to the door with a will on their own and a sharp edge inside of them. He can't stop himself.

He is not even sure she will be here tonight. He hasn't seen her since the day before the night where he kind off broke into her home. He knows she is going to kill him for this or at least try to cut off his balls in his sleep. But he had to do something.

The war has been hell. And maybe Miles is too busy playing house with the bitch from hell to notice, but he isn't. The stubborn, strong and beautiful as fuck fire in Charlie's eyes is fading. The war and all their years on the road have taken a toll on her. He knows it. He feels it inside his damn bones too. He is used to feeling tired and miserable. But watching a Charlie who's miserable, tired and hurting, is something he cannot deal with.

And maybe she doesn't remember herself or realize that he remembers, but he remembers a younger Charlie who had been fearless and already busy telling the whole damn world in her own stubborn way what to do when she was just four years old.

The world had been younger and not beaten almost to death by a blackout no one saw coming. Ben had invited them over for dinner. They had shared a meal and lots of beers. It had been late when he and Miles were about to leave. Charlie had been standing in front of him, looking up at him with her big blue eyes, asking him if he could stay for a Princess party and dance with him. Hell, he had two younger sisters, he had known all about princesses, dresses and fairytales. He had crouched down in front of her while her eyes had been filled with trust and light. He had promised there would be time for a dance and princesses and dresses later. The blackout happened only two months after that night, forever changing the world and a younger Charlie. Later had never come. He had never been able to hold on to that promise.

Until three weeks ago, when he had walked past a store and saw the dress in the window. His first thought after seeing the almost Republic Presidential blue of the dress had been about her. He had found the necklace after buying the dress, knowing it would look perfect on her. He had waited until she had gone out for a drink with some friends and he kind off broke into her house to leave the dress and necklace on her bed.

So, fuck, yes. She might kill him for leaving that dress on her bed. But he considers not waking up with her knife against his throat, or worse, his balls, a good sign.

He takes another sip from his drink while memories from the past echo inside of his head. And then, time flows on and years pass in just one second because hell, she's there. He forgets about his whiskey when she walks inside, because dammit, she's fucking beautiful. She looks endlessly beautiful wrapped in blue silk, while the fabric flows against her breasts and hips and the silver necklace he bought for her is touching the smooth skin of her neck.

When her eyes meet his, she walks over to him. He puts his glass on the bar. She stops in front of him. Bass is not sure what is going to happen next. But when her eyes meet his, filled with an old trust and honest light while she is standing in front of him Bass smiles. She remembers.

He knows she will dance with him tonight and that he gets to fucking hold her, while the rest of the world knows she's here for him. That last thought should not fuel his ego the way it does, but hell, he can't stop himself.

When he guides her to the dancefloor, he has to clench his jaws because she isn't putting any distance between them. There is no rage, no hate and no loathing inside of her eyes. Her body flows against his for just a little moment. He swallows and tells himself to get a damn grip.

He watches her observe the other pairs dance around them. And then, he can see her insecurity hiding behind her strength, just for one second. He moves his mouth closer to her ear.

'Don't worry…' his voice is deep and low, soft enough for only her to hear.

Without looking at him, he is suddenly closer than he has ever been. It does more to her than she wants him to see, because his voice and his promise that he's right there makes something shift inside of her.

Charlie looks up to find a rare smile in his eyes. Bass moves her closer to his body, his hand finds its place on her lower back. And then, just like that, they start to move. And just like the first day on the road where they had to fight their way out of a hell together for the first time, the same thing happens here. Because somehow, they know how to do this. Charlie looks up. The music flows in the distance but he's the rhythm.

He's tall, his chest is close and the scent of whiskey and him is even closer. And then something new happens. Because for the very first time, when she truly and fully looks at him, something swirls through her belly before it flows through her chest, head and whole body. It's warmth, tingling, overwhelming and not stopping. It's everything.

She is dancing with him, gliding through the space and all there is left are his eyes, his strength and his strong steady hand on her lower back.

She knows Miles is probably staring at them. She knows Miles is probably busy plotting Bass' death. But she doesn't care. Not tonight. It all fades away. She lets it happen. She gives in to all the man he is and became to her. She gives in to steel blue and deep fire, a wide chest, strong arms and smug ego with a gentle blue in his eyes that he only seems to show her.

Bass' whole chest swells with feeling her this close and feeling her surrender in his arms.

Charlie watches how something changes in his eyes and something soft and smug appears in his eyes at the same time.

'So, you are finally letting me lead for once?' His voice is raspy warmth.

He expects her to say something Charlie Matheson-like back. But this time he's wrong. The answer is all in her eyes. Just for tonight. Just for tonight I'll let you lead.

Charlie lets him lead her over the dance floor. She smiles at him. Just for tonight, she thinks. And then that smile turns into a wide grin that he soaks up with his eyes. Just for tonight, she thinks, because tomorrow she will give him hell again.

Author's Note: For December I wanted to do something special. I have been working on a series called December stories and on this day, December first, I wanted to publish my first story for this month. December stories will be filled with one shots and scenes I love writing this time of the year. Wishing you all a beautiful December! Love from Love