"Everything! It's all turning off and it will never come back on!" God how those simple words haunted his dreams. He wasn't sure how Ben had known, not at first, but as the days went by and everything remained shut off, Miles realized he didn't care how his brother knew. All he cared about was reaching Ben and Rachel and tiny Charli and frail Danny.

Days turned to weeks, weeks into months, until finally it was nearly a year after the blackout. both he and Bass had long since given up on finding them; they had settled down, the pair joining together with another group, Miles forced to accept that his family was likely dead. Forced to accept that Bass was the last of his family.

But then he saw those golden tresses, a small form weaving between the various tents before blue eyes locked onto his form and all the tension and sorrow that had built up in that year diminished. "Uncle Miles!" The words were squealed, that small form catapulting at him. Miles wasn't sure when he ended up on the ground, but suddenly he was there on his ass. Muscled arms were curled tight around the sobbing girl, his face hidden in her golden locks and her freckles face hidden against his neck. He didn't care how long he sat there, his niece wrapped in his embrace, and he certainly didn't care how that his cheeks were wet and his throat was tight. Because Charli was there, which meant Ben and Danny and Rachel were close. It meant his family was safe and alive. It meant he and Bass weren't alone like they thought.

He faintly heard the sound of his brother saying his name, briefly caught sight of longer golden hair in his peripheral vision, and he startled when a heavy hand clasped his shoulder. "C'mon," Bass grunted, helping the man stand, but Miles could see it. Miles could see the relief mirrored in Bass's eyes, the stress of the year erased from his face and shoulders. Charlie hiccuped in her uncle's arms before she threw herself out of them and into Sebastian's instead with a joyous cry of "Bastian!" That was all it took for the Marine to break, hand falling from Miles' shoulder to wrap his own arms around the girl. "Charlotte," he whispered back in greeting, holding her tight against him. Charlie scolded him briefly, but her voice was muffled by his shoulder and her legs had secured around the General's hips, keeping herself locked against him.

No words were shared between Miles and Ben as the brothers clasped one another in their own hug, and Ben didn't say anything as Miles hugged Rachel and ruffled Danny's hair, the boy still in a little red wagon, watching his uncle warily. Charli maintained her grip on Sebastian, but her blue eyes were finally on her family again, Sebastian giving brief words of greeting to his pseudo family.

They were all back together, and that was all that mattered right now. Everything else could wait until they managed to convince themselves this wasn't some cruel joke the universe was playing on them while they slept.

Hey y'all! I hope you like this little intro! i never understood why Ben and Rachel didnt go in search of Miles and Bass when they first heard of the beginning stages of the republic forming, so here is my take on what i think should have happened!