Winter and Warmth

Bass is cursing at himself for feeling the way he does. He feels like a fucking teenager again. It's late. Or maybe the night is close to sunrise, he isn't sure. But what he is sure of is that he has offered to walk Charlie home after Aaron's Party and that she is actually letting him. And now he's here, alone, with her.

Fuck. He has ruled half the continent and now he's here, walking next to her, and he has no idea in hell what to say or do. So he keeps his mouth shut while Charlie walks right next to him. He realizes he feels something he hasn't felt in a very long time. And then, he tells himself to get a damn grip while he has no idea what will be next.

It's cold outside. The night sky above them is filled with bright stars. Bass moves his hands deeper into his pockets.

They have danced. They have talked. They ordered whiskey at the bar. He had to tell himself over and over again to not let his eyes wander because dammit, she looks fucking amazing tonight in the dress he had picked out for her and she was willing to wear. He had felt Miles' death threat in his brother's eyes all night, but he couldn't care less. Not tonight. Because he doesn't know what the hell is happening here, but he does know he wants to be with her as long as she wants his company. She is beautiful as hell, while the starlight plays with the deep blue of her dress.

He used to do the whole walk the girl home-routine, decades and a lifetime ago, and he was usually damn sure about what was going to happen next. He was damn good at it and has always known he usually got what he wanted in that department.

But this is her, this is Charlie for fucks sake, and with her, he can't doesn't know what the hell is going to happen next. He does know that he knows what he wants to happen next. And apparently his body does know what it wants to happen next too. He tells his dick to shut the hell up. He feels fucking pathetic while he curses inside his head, again, while they walk silently through a winter night.

Charlie is looking in front of her but she is aware of Bass close to her with every new step she takes. When Bass had offered to walk her home there had been something in his eyes that had she had been unable to resist. And because him walking her home had meant that this night would not be ending yet (and more time with him, alone) her heart, mind and body, (which she all tries to outrun), all had agreed on the same answer. So now they are here, and she lets Bass walks her home. It feels like the most normal and surreal thing that could happen to her at the same time. And she hates to admit it, but him walking as close to her as he is doing right now, feels good and she wants to soak it up as long as she can.

The crisp winter air brushes against the skin of her face. She smiles softly. She had wondered about why she had come and why she had had been willing and actually wanted to wear a dress that he had picked out for her, the man she had tried to kill more than once in the past. The truth was, she wanted to feel everything she had felt tonight and she had known he had been the only man who could make her feel everything she feels tonight.

The night is quiet, the air is clear and cold. They walk in silence until they reach her home. He stops while she is about to turn around to walk up to her front door. She stops too. Charlie looks up. Somehow, he feels even taller tonight. Bass looks at her with an intensity in his eyes that is familiar and yet, and the same time, it is brand new.

'I guess this is goodnight Charlie..' his voice is raspy warmth in the winter night.

'Yeah, I guess so…' Her words betray her, because she doesn't believe it and looking at his face, he doesn't either. And then she surprises herself again, and looking at his face, she surprises him as well. 'Thanks for tonight.' Her voice sounds strong and sincere when she looks at him.

It feels powerful to be the reason why his whole face changes right there in front of her. It amazes her over and over again how addicting it feels to know she is the reason why she sees more of the General and the man she once met, right there in front of him. The gentle blue that replaces the crude steel she is so used to after spending years with him, fills her whole chest with warmth.

'Anytime Charlie' He grins and then his face changes into something that makes her knees feel weak all of a sudden.

Just when she's sure he is going to turn around and walk away from her, he looks at her with a burning stare that wakes up things inside of her she can't deny.

'Why did you come to the party, Charlie…' His voice is hoarse and deep. He curses at himself for not being able to stop himself from asking the question he craves an answer for. He takes a step towards her and he is almost close enough to touch her. His hearts beats strongly inside of his chest all of a sudden, a part inside of him hating himself for needing this answer from her. He won't let her go with his eyes.

'Because I had to feel something different.' She looks straight at him. It's impossible to look away. The rest of her answer is hidden safely inside her eyes, a truth too big to say out loud because it is hard to say these truths out loud in their blackout world. And because you remembered. That night, a long time ago, before the blackout when he had promised her that dance. But most of all, he had remembered something they have all lost in this blackout world. Charlie soaks up every moment of his eyes lighting up the way they do when he understands her answer.

Bass swallows. He hesitates. 'Dammit.' He curses again, this time in a low voice that fills the space between them before he kisses her in such a gentle and strong way that it gives her only one option. She lets Bass kiss her. She lets him lead, just like he had lead her earlier tonight with their first dance.

Her body reacts to him being so close. His kiss is filled with determination. He feels powerful. His kiss is strength and filled with his taste of whiskey and fight. Bass pulls her closer while her whole body flows against his. He kisses her. She kisses him. It's long and deep and wet and warmth. His arms move around her and the soft fabric of her dress meets the tall strength of his body. The soft curves of her belly and breasts are pressed against his battle hardened body.

'You want to come inside?' Charlie asks, his mouth lingering close to her forehead after she has pulled back to find his eyes.

'What the hell do you think?' His eyes are burning while a grin appears on his face and there is a mocking smug tone in his voice that flows to his eyes.

'I think you…' But Charlie can't finish what she is about to say because the warmth of his mouth covers hers again. She kisses him back deeply while her need to tell him he is being a complete asshole gets lost in his kiss and the way he wraps his arms around her, holding her under a dark December sky with the warmth of his body close to hers.