Charlie walked into that bar wanting nothing but a decent meal and something substantial to drink. The bartender hitting on her wasn't new. The heavy feeling she got in her limbs and fuzziness in her head was. Before she knows what's happening, she's thrown around the room like a ragdoll. Fighting off this many guys would have been a little bit of a challenge at full stamina, drugged made it near impossible. She tries to push down the feeling of fear that is clawing its way from her stomach up to her chest. No... She won't die here. She grabs the chair next to her, swings it at the man, temporarily knocking him to his knees as she shoves one of the rusted chair legs through the man's throat as hard as she can.
The heavyset man in the back must have been the one in charge because when he pulls his weapons out the others do as well. Charlie doesn't think. She flings herself over the bar hiding in between the bottles of booze trying to shield her head from the exploding glass around her.
All the sudden the firing stops. She hears a shuffle, and a fight breaks out on the other side of the counter she's hunkered behind. Using the newfound distraction to her advantage, Charlie drags herself to the other end of the bar and take a deep breath before lunging for the door.
With one foot out of the bar she thanks her lucky stars. That could have ended badly. But before she can put both feet on the ground, she feels a grip on her arm. Acting entirely in reflex, she grabs a glass jar on the shelf next to the door and wields around to knock her assailant's lights out. Just as she's about to make contact a blade flies up blocking the bottle from reaching his face. It shatters in a million pieces, falling to the floor around her.
Charlie feels that fear knocking at her heart again but when she looks at the face of the assailant she can't help but let out a sigh of relief. Bass. Wait? When did he become Bass?
I still had her by the arm. I blocked the bottle she tried to hit me with. My chest hurts from being out of breath, and I feel a pain on my side where one of those ass hats sliced me with a blade. She could have died in here tonight. Or worse, she could have survived it.
I can see the recognition in her eyes when she finally looks up at me. I had half a mind to lecture her about how dangerous bars full of men are when she by herself but she looks like she understands. Her eyes are glassy like she is holding back tears. I scan her body looking for injuries and only see a few cuts and scrapes. She is holding back tears not because she was in pain but because she was scared. My thoughts on a lecture quickly fade away.
"Hey," I say, "You're okay. It's okay" I really don't want to see her cry.
She doesn't want me to see it either because before I can think of something else to say she walks into my chest and wraps her arms up my back, resting her palms on my shoulders blades. It takes me a moment to respond. When the first sob breaks instincts take over, and I bring one had to the back of her head and the other to her back, dropping my blade in the process, she cries, and all I can do is hold her.
When the tears run out, and she catches her breath, it is quiet. I'm enjoying having someone that trust me enough to let me see them at a breaking point, even if it is temporary.
She takes a deep breath and through a slightly cracked voice mumbles, "We have to stop meeting like this." I pull back to look at her and can see that she is regaining her senses and spirit. I cant help the corner of my mouth tip up, "You Mathesons have a magnet for trouble in your asses, You all invented Murphy's Law."
End of Monroe POV
Charlie lets a half sigh-half laugh. Bringing her hands down from his back her right palm brushes the side of his ribcage. He sucks in a breath and steps away from her contact. A look of guilt and sympathy pass over her eyes. "Bass, your hurt." He quickly snaps his eyes up. Bass? She called him Bass. Trying not to show that it was a big deal to him he takes another step away and bends down to grab his blade off the floor. "It's nothing Charlie, don't worry about it." She doesn't buy it. "Well if it's nothing then let me see," she insists, reaching for him. He doesn't want to, but she looks concerned, and after what she has been through he doesn't want to deny her anything. He stands perfectly still letting her move the top shirt away from his side, her fingers resting on the buttons. She tilts her head trying to get a better view of the wound hidden by my dark tee-shirt. What she finds she doesn't like because she sucks in a deep breath and looks him in the face. "This is pretty bad Monroe; you are gonna need stitches." Well, he was back to Monroe again. He tries to swallow, and she is so focused on her task that she doesn't notice. "Come on, I know a market not far from here, we can get supplies and I can patch you up.