Word Count: ~1000
Summary: Does she have any idea what she's getting herself into? Of course she doesn't, Bass seethes inwardly, Charlie jumps in head first and hopes for the best. No plan, no backup, nothing...
Author's Note: Written for the theorgyarmada's challenge Revolution: The Second Coming and prompt #59: Good guys are overrated anyway. This is my Bass/Charlie fill for the prompt. (Written in a sort of "the deadline is rushing towards me and I'm not ready at all" style. \o/)
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don’t earn any money with this piece. I just do it for fun.
Pain flares suddenly in his right side and Bass jerks awake, chains rattling as he rolls on his back. Gritting his teeth, he tries to breathe through it, wills the pain down to a dull throbbing ache, like he's done many times in the last few days.
His captors have to deliver him alive, but unharmed hasn't been part of the order, and one of them had enjoyed letting his knife accidentally slip and graze his skin when they caught him.
“Hey, get up. We gotta move.” The one who calls himself leader of this ragtag band of bounty hunters kicks him again and it's only thanks to Bass' quick reflexes that the man hits his thigh and not his side again. That doesn't sit well with the other man and he pulls out his sword but before he can even point it at Bass, an arrow pierces his chest.
For a second, everyone freezes and stares at the dying man, slowly crumbling to the ground, but then his men spring into action, yelling and shouting, trying to figure out where the shooter's hiding, but they stand no chance. One after the other is hit until all five have joined their leader on the ground, slowly bleeding to death.
Bass forgets the pain in his side as a red haze of anger engulfs him and he stares at the tree line, instinctively knowing where his rescuer is hiding. That infuriating and stubborn slip of a—
“Charlie! What the hell are you doing?”
She steps out into the open and Bass's eyes narrow dangerously as Charlie ignores his outburst and simply walks by him to the fallen men, checking their pockets and bags.
“Charlie,” he hisses, and finally Charlie glances over her shoulder at him.
“Keep you voice down. I've seen two more groups heading this way,” she tells him before continuing to search the men's belongings. “We have to be gone before they get here.”
Words fail him for a long moment during which Bass is fairly certain he gaps at her like a slack-jawed idiot, unable to believe she's dismissed him just like that. Does she have any idea what she's getting herself into? Of course she doesn't, Bass seethes inwardly, Charlie jumps in head first and hopes for the best. No plan, no backup, nothing...
He finally finds his voice, and it's low and hard. “We are not going anywhere until you tell me what you think you're doing.”
Charlie gives him a look and steps away from the dead men. “I'd think it's fairly obvious,” she says dryly as she kneels down in front of him and picks the lock of the chains. “I'm rescuing you.”
“Don't take that tone with me, Charlotte,” he snaps, gripping her forearm with just-shy-of-painful force. “You should have waited for Miles. This isn't—“
“It would have taken too long,” she interrupts him and shakes his hand off. “I'd have lost the trail if I'd waited the two days it would have taken for him to return.” She stands up and Bass follows, ignoring the jolt of pain the movement sends through him, and wraps his fingers tightly around her wrist.
“Then you should have waited these two day,” he says through tightly gritted teeth. “What if the other bounty hunters had been here as well? You couldn't have taken them on all at once.”
Her eyes glint in the sunlight as she leans in. “That's why I decided to act now.”
“You could have been killed, Charlie!” He snarls, digging his fingers into her skin.
“It's not me they want dead!”
“Maybe it's better if I were!”
She slaps him, hard enough that it leaves his cheek stinging.
“Don't you ever say that again,” she whispers, her lips pressed into a thin line of white, and even though he can see her body trembling, her voice isn't. There's a raw edge in it that's matched by the look in her eyes, and it takes Bass a moment to place it. When he does, the realization settles in that dark place that once had been his soul and blooms there like an electric storm.
Charlie cares. She of all people cares about him even though she's got every right to want to see him dead. And yet she's here, risking her life to save his, and Bass knows it's not the loss of blood that leaves him dizzy and breathless.
There's a hint of wariness in her eyes but she straightens her shoulders, stands her ground and by her words and action, beautiful and fierce, and Bass can't look away.
He reaches for her, tangling his fingers in her hair and pulling her towards him, and presses his mouth to hers in a hard kiss. Her hands fly to his shoulders, fisting his shirt, not to push him away but to pull him closer, and Bass deepens the kiss, and Charlie arches into him with a low moan.
His breath isn't the only one that's coming in unsteady pants as he pulls back and he presses his forehead to hers, trying to steady himself, his eyes closed.
This hadn't been a simple thank-you kiss, it's not that simple with Charlie, never has been and never will be. Bass had known the day he had seen her for the first time that she was complicated, would make his life difficult, and not only because she'd wanted to kill him.
It'd been this dark attraction he felt for Charlie Matheson which would turn his whole world upside down, and part of him had resented, despised her for it, but over the last few months he'd realized it had been exactly what he'd needed.
Charlie is what he needs.
When he opens his eyes again, she's looking at him curiously, her cheeks flushed and her eyes bright, and with a pang of regret, Bass forces himself to drop his hand from her hair, letting it slip through his fingers. He brushes the tips of his fingers along her jaw as he draws his hand back and smiles as he hears her breath hitching.
“You're trouble, Charlie, you know that?” It's exasperated affection, and slowly, she smiles back, the expression slipping across her face in a way that's open and warm and a little bit smug around the edges, and Bass laughs quietly, shaking his head. “Let's get out of here.”
He holds out his hand for her and Charlie takes it without hesitation, entwining her fingers with his, and Bass knows, he's never going to let go.