First off, you owe this story to all the wonderful reviewers and silent viewers for my last fanfiction for Revolution. And you know, Revolution's awesomeness played a part in it as well. And there's a special thanks that needs to be made to Ash S.H because they told me that if I didn't continue to write, the world would die, and I couldn't risk that. :P I hope you enjoy! On a side note, this is written right before Soul Train, which I haven't seen yet because I've been writing this. Yes, you should be grateful, ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own Revolution. If I did, it would only be an idea in my head, not a T.V. show.
Charlie sat with her back to the woods in which Nate was standing, watching her carefully, though not as obviously as her uncle was staring at him.
Just minutes ago Charlie had been helping to check and re-bandage Aaron's leg, light the night's fire, and get out of the pot and pan they apparently used to cook dinner on (though she stopped short of actually cooking anything, so Aaron took over). But the minute Charlie's hands were idle, it was as if someone else had blown out her birthday candles. Ever since that she's been sitting on her bed role, knees drawn up to her chin. No one else seemed to have noticed, but Nate had been uncomfortably aware of it for a while now. And if she re-tucked that same strand of hair behind her ear one more time, he swore he was going to go crazy.
"Hey Miles, we need to get some supplies, especially if we're a day behind the militia now."
"It's almost dusk and you want to go hunting? Alone? After everything we've been through today?"
The incredulity in Miles voice made it obvious just what he thought of such a plan.
Nora shook her head.
"I'm good at hunting at night, and not alone. I would bring someone with me, but Aaron's obviously out and someone needs to stay back to guard . . . whoever this is."
Nora gazed pointedly at Nate and he glared back at her over Charlie's head while everyone else waited for Mile's verdict. Well, perhaps Charlie wasn't listening. . .
"I gave him a weapon earlier when we went after Charlie. If he really wanted to he could have tried to kill me and gotten away then, or let that man do it for him. Heck, he might even have tried to capture me, not that it would have worked. But he didn't. I don't know if he's stupid or foolish, but I'm not worried about him leaving Charlie anytime soon."
Nate clenched his hands into fists, trying to fight the desire to argue a point he was fairly sure was more truthful than it should have been. Charlie didn't change her position in front of the fire, and soon Miles and Nora were gone, taking some of the best weapons with them. With Miles no longer watching him like a hawk, Nate decided it was time to find out just what had Charlie so . . . broken. The flame that normally flickered within her, keeping her feisty and more than a little frustrating at times was just gone.
She turned to him slightly when he sat down next to her, though she kept her gaze firmly on the fire.
"What are you thinking so hard about Charlie?" Nate's voice was soft, designed to urge her to spill all her secrets to him. It had worked well enough before.
There was only silence in answer as she shrugged. Getting a tad impatient, Nate reached over and grabbed Charlie's shoulder, forcing her to look at him and not the apparently mesmerizing fire.
"Charlie, you are not allowed to kill yourself over this, do you understand? You are not that weak."
"No, you don't understand Nate," Charlie growled, a bit of her spark returning as she looked him in the eye. "I have lost everyone-"
"You're not the only one who has," he bit out. "There's no one who hasn't lost someone after the lights went out. And in the end, whether we die first or last, we lose everyone. And if anyone believes in a better place after this life, shouldn't it be you?"
"It's my fault. If I hadn't left to go after Danny, she wouldn't have been here. Better yet, if I had been watching out for Danny like I should have. . . "
Charlie's voice cut off as she took a deep breath to prevent the tears he could see gathering in her eyes from falling.
"Charlie," this time Nate softened his voice, daring even to move his hand on her shoulder from an almost bruising grip to more of a half embrace. "You can't blame yourself for this. Maggie had her free will, she must have known what she was risking to help you search for Danny. Would you have Danny blaming himself if you died trying to save him?"
"No," she whispered, her eyes meeting his. "I'd hate it if he blamed himself. Because it's not his fault."
"Well, he is the one who got captured, so it's his fault you are risking your life to save him," Nate insisted, hoping that baiting her was the right decision.
"Don't say that!"
Charlie's raised voice had Aaron turning and looking at them in shock. Nate was fairly certain the other man couldn't force his mind to see Nate as the enemy, which Nate was grateful for at the moment. Charlie glanced at Aaron and then looked at Nate again, a familiar spark back in her eye.
"It is not Danny's fault. I'm doing what I am because I'm his sister and I love him. I'm not letting him go."
Nate lifted an eyebrow at her, and she blushed as she realized what she had just said.
"So there's no reason to blame yourself. You have never been the cause of someone leaving you, I'm certain of that. They wouldn't have come after you so hard if they didn't care."
The tears Charlie had been holding back spilled over then, though without the loud sobs that had come with them earlier that day. And Nate finally got to do what he had wanted the chance to do the entire day. He took her in his arms tightly, letting his touch let her know he wasn't going anywhere. Nate had no idea he could be so jealous of Miles until, both times Charlie was distressed enough to allow him to hold her, Miles got there first.
"Nate, I was so scared. I could hear you guys coming and I was so scared I was going to get shot. I was so scared. And then Maggie died and she's all I had left of my family. If I can't find Danny, I don't know what I'll do."
Nate tightened his arms around her, and she returned the gesture, her face pressing into his shoulder.
"I was scared too Charlie, when that man took you and all I could do was scream your name. I couldn't even stand up. But we found you, and I know you'll find Danny. And Miles has promised to stay with you. It's not just your burden anymore."
They stayed that way for a while before she extracted herself from his grasp, smiling a little.
"And what of you, Nate? Are you sticking around?"
Her voice was teasing, and so he grinned at her.
"If I remember correctly, I'm your prisoner right now. And you seem to be very good at keeping your prisoners around."
"Nate, will you come over here and give me a hand?" Aaron's voice was confident, as if he was sure Nate would come running to help him. There was not note in his voice that would suggest he had any idea he'd just interrupted their conversation.
"No actually, I'm quite fine over here," Nate replied with a cocky grin crossing his face, purposefully extending his legs to emphasize his relaxed posture.
Charlie let loose a quiet laugh before laying her hand on Nate's shoulder, giving it a light squeeze before using it as leverage to stand up.
"I'll help you Aaron. I'm sure all Nate would do is burn the food."
Well, I truly hope you enjoyed my story! I had a lot of fun writing it. And don't worry, I'm fairly certain this will not be my last fanfiction for Revolution.