This one-shot was written as a response to a prompt (anything inspired by the song 'Pain' by Three Days Grace).

The Feeling is Mutual

The dry grass and weeds pricked the back of Charlie's neck as she looked up at the infinitely mass of blue up above. Thin layered clouds adorned the firmament as her fingers traced imaginary lines over the shapes. She frowned, wondering how long it would be until she could enjoy this kind of peace again. The coldness of the ground didn't bother her in the slightest, even though she could feel the still present dew getting absorbed into her shirt and jeans. All she wanted was this, solitude, away from the hectic battles that seemed to permeate her every day life. Blood, death, suffering, she'd seen it all. Rage, loss, pain, she'd felt it all. None of that seemed to bother her anymore, she had become jaded and to a point, desensitized to it all. Worst of all, she thought it was perfectly fine. Sometimes she even wondered what it would be like to die, not that she wanted to, but she had come to the conclusion that she was okay if it happened.

The clouds moved and converged, she closed her eyes for a few seconds, breathing in the air around her. The smell of damp dirt and pasture enveloped her nose and she was sure she could even smell the faint but sweet scent of flowers in the breeze. Her hands ran over the grass beneath her palms as it tickled her skin. Charlie squeezed her eyes, a sudden feeling of annoyance fell upon her when she realized she was no longer alone.

"Everyone's looking for you." Bass' voice broke the stillness, causing her to snap her eyes open.

He was standing right beside her, his tall shape towering over her and blocking the sun from view. She looked at him, contemplating her desire to strangle him for disrupting her alone time and her confusion for wanting him closer. She remained silent, their eyes engaging in a staring contest that both seemed determined to win.

"I wanted to be alone, is that so bad?" She spoke softly, pushing herself up on her elbows and tilting her head to get a better look at him.

One corner of his mouth curved slightly and Charlie could tell he was either about to say something condescending or snap at her for running off alone. "What happened to you Charlie? You haven't been the same since New Vegas." He remarked, placing one hand on his hip and using the other to rub his forehead. It was obvious his attempt at a conversation was making him uncomfortable.

Charlie rolled her eyes and jumped to her feet, brushing off the dirt and grass from her clothing. The way she twisted left and right made her top rise on one side and then the other. Bass caught a glance or two before averting his eyes from her. "Please don't tell me you're here to lecture me about sleeping with Connor. That was over a month ago." She crossed her arms over her chest, giving him a better view of the curves underneath her tank top. "One meaningless fuck and everyone's all up in arms."

Bass chuckled, finding himself in the odd position of feeling both insulted on his son's behalf and relieved by her comment. "Wow. A meaningless fuck, huh?" He paused. "You know, Charlotte, sometimes you can be extremely frigid. It's scary."

She raised an eyebrow, smiling wide and looking over at their camp site at the bottom of the hill. It looked deserted for a moment before ant-like figures began moving about. "You're talking to me about frigidness?" Charlie held back a laugh, "You've barely even spoken to me since we got back. All you've been doing is following Miles around and doing everything he says." She stepped closer to him in a defiant manner. "Don't pretend to care when we both know you're incapable of such thing."

Bass' mouth parted as a low scoff left his throat. Her words had cut him deeper than any wound he'd been subjected to before but he wasn't about to let her walk away before realizing what she was doing to herself. "I never said I cared." He muttered, making her blue eyes flicker in his direction. Her gaze was like razor sharp daggers. "Miles and your mother might not have noticed, but you're distant, cold," he quieted for a moment, "Detached."

Charlie's expression remained solemn. "You do know we're not going to make it out of this alive."

"So, what? Becoming numb to everything that goes on around you is your best option?" He spit the words out in anger. It made Charlie question why this was so important to him. "What is it with you? You have a death wish or something?"

Charlie opened her mouth to speak but sucked her words back at the last minute. She didn't have to explain herself to anyone and definitely not him of all people. Did she have a death wish? Not necessarily but that didn't mean she cared whether she lived or died. He was right, she'd become numb. But even then, what was it to him? She suddenly began to feel like he was invading her personal haven, scavenging for her weaknesses, and maybe even secretly enjoying her slow decay into ruins. She turned her back to him, walking at a fast pace even further away into the vast fields instead of heading in the direction of the camp site.

Bass followed, his pace quickening the faster she moved. Her hips swayed from side to side, like undulating waves from the beaches he used to be so fond of in his younger years. The chain that adorned the waistline of her jeans rattled with every step she took. Charlie looked over her shoulder, noticing he was being persistent in his pursuit. A smirk spread over her lips as she abruptly transitioned into a full blown sprint. "Goddamn it!" She heard him exclaim. Her smile became more prominent and her heart pounded faster in her chest as she leaped over holes in the ground and evaded debris. The grass around her seemed to be growing at a quick rate and she eventually found herself surrounded by the tall weeds of a meadow. She could hear Bass' heavy breathing behind her before she felt his body against her. His force propelled her forward into the ground.

Charlie fidgeted around, finding herself wedged between him and the broken stalks of weeds beneath her. Both their faces were covered in a sheet of sweat and dirt, and their breathing was sharp and quick. "Get off me!" She screamed, trying to push him off to no avail. He stared at her intently with piercing blue eyes. This was the first time Charlie had been so close to him, she could see every crease on his face and was especially drawn to the hues of blue that made up his irises. His lips seemed to tremble as if he wanted to say something. Her heart kept pounding at an incessant rate but she told herself it was from all the running exertion and not from finding herself under his weight.

He placed his hands on either side of her head, hovering over her like a predator eyeing his victim. "You're angry, good. At least we know you feel something." Charlie glanced downward, noticing the nonexistent space between their hips. "You might think this life isn't worth living but what good are you to Miles and Rachel in this state?"

She didn't reply, instead she moved beneath him, trying once again to slip away. Bass kept his eyes on her, watching her struggle only to give up a couple seconds later. She stared back at him, resigning herself to the fact that it was up to him to decide when she could get up. Her mouth pressed in a hard line and her eyes narrowed in annoyance. "You're giving me the silent treatment now? Very mature, Charlotte." He finally pushed himself away from her and rested back on his knees for a moment before standing up.

She wasn't sure why she hoped he would remain that way for longer, after all she'd been wanting him off her the minute his body landed on hers. Charlie hopped to her feet, turning her back to him. He took a deep breathe and continued prying. "Anger. It's a start, you can't be feeling too numb if you still have rage in you, right? So why don't we start there? From something so primal as the need to lash out."

Charlie scoffed, "I don't know what you're trying to do but it's not going to work. This is who I am now, why can't everyone just accept that I'm not little naive Charlie anymore?"

Bass placed a hand on her shoulder, his fingers wrapping over her warm skin. He turned her around. "Trust me, if there's anyone who realizes that, it's me." He swallowed hard at the memories of that night in the fields of New Vegas. "But there's a difference between growing up and stripping away your humanity." His hand slid off her shoulder, the gentle brush of his fingertips sending electrically charged ripples through her body. Charlie shivered in response, hoping he hadn't noticed. "You hate me." He said assertively.

Charlie's eyes widened in response. "What?"

"Come on. We're all alone, Charlie." He opened his arms, calling attention to the open space that surrounded them. "You want to let your anger out? Do it."

She laughed, mocking his offer. "You're not serious."

Bass cocked his head to the side, his hands now on his hips. "You're bottling it all up. If you don't let it out, it will only be a matter of time before you explode. I'd hate to see you do something stupid as a result." He stepped towards her, "Come on." His fingertips touched the center of her chest as he pushed her back, taunting her. "Feel something. Anything."

Charlie clenched her jaw, her eyes engulfed with fury. She pushed him hard, causing him to lose his balance for a second. A grin spread over his face and this only made her want to hit him harder. She ran towards him, slamming her body into his and using her fists to pound on his chest. "You son of a bitch!" An angry growl left her lips as her knee came up to meet his upper leg, barely missing his balls. Bass' foot got caught in the uneven ground and he fell to the side, bringing her down with him.

Her legs wrapped around his waist, straddling him to the ground as she continued to punch him wherever her fists landed. Her knuckles connected with the side of his face as she dug her nails into his neck with her other hand. Bass took a hold of both wrists, a feat that she responded to with curses and grunts. "I hate you!" Her words rang in his ears, "I hate you." She said once again, this time with less emphasis and close to a hush.

This was the response he had wanted, she was starting to express the emotions she'd been storing away for who knows how long. Bass was about to make a smart remark when he felt her slump over on his chest, a distressed wail coming from her throat. She sobbed into him and he could feel the warmth of her tears soak into his shirt. He let go of her wrists, his hands remaining idle until they finally settled on her back. He found himself at a loss for words, doing nothing else but gently rubbing her back and allowing her to drain her feelings.

After a while she muttered into his chest, "But I hate myself more." Her face came up, bathed in streams of salty tears. "I hate myself for caring about someone like you." She turned away, embarrassed by her declaration as she wiped away the tears. "I should want you dead," she continued, "For everything you've done." She rose to her feet, "And every day that passes, I find it even more impossible to feel that way about you."

Bass pushed himself up, unsure of how to reply. He started to believe that his little stunt had been a very bad idea. This wasn't exactly the reaction he was expecting from her. He thought he'd be subjected to a few punches, even a bloody nose, and he was willing to take it. After all, he felt like he deserved it. He glanced at Charlie from head to toe. "Maybe we should head back."

She chuckled, "Oh. Things are getting a little too heavy for you now?" A light breeze flowed between them, drying the moisture that still remained on her cheeks. "You want the truth? You are the reason for my change. You are responsible for my incapability of figuring out what I'm feeling. You are the cause of all this. You and your stupid ways of showing that you care about me."

"I thought you said I was incapable of caring." He said under his breathe.

Charlie walked in his direction. "I wanted to believe that. Hell, I want to believe anything as long as it means I get to hate you and feel nothing more than that."

He looked at the ground sheepishly, one question still eating at him like acid. "Why did you sleep with him?" Bass blurted out, a hint of hurt and anger in his voice.

Charlie shook her head. "That's not what we're talking about."

Within seconds, Bass was inches away from her, his hands clasping to her waist and driving her closer to him. "No, but I want to know why." His eyes were fixated on hers as if somehow searching for the truth behind her pools of blue.

"He's not you." She replied. "I couldn't allow myself to get any closer to you." Her voice was quiet and she looked away ashamed. "I thought it would build a wall so high that it would destroy any chances of us–" she stopped.

Bass' heart was now beating erratically. "Any chances of us what?" He demanded an answer.

Charlie responded with aggression, pushing him away, continually hitting his chest. "Why are you doing this to me?" She countered. Her hand made contact with the side of his face, leaving a burning sensation on his cheek. Bass looked at her furious, taking a hold of her shoulders and gulping at the sight of her lips before letting go. Charlie gripped the back of his head and without hesitation, crashed her mouth against his. She tasted the saltiness of his skin as her teeth angrily bit down and pulled at his lips. Bass' hands tightened around her hips, his fingers sliding underneath the thin fabric of her tank top.

She breathed into him, their tongues moving briskly inside each others' mouths. This was all she'd been wanting, to give in to her stupid desire to kiss him, to know if he felt the same way about her. By the way he was devouring her mouth, it was obvious he'd been wanting this just as much. The heat of his tongue and the touch of his hands produced a pool of moisture between her legs and she could feel her center clench at the sensations he was imparting on her. Their bodies pressed together and her hands settled on the nape of his neck, her fingertips playing with his hair. Charlie could feel his enlarging cock against her and she grew increasingly more tempted to reach down and run her hand over it. As she contemplated doing so, Bass suddenly put a halt to things and released her.

He rubbed his face in disbelief. "If you think I'm going to help you continue on this path of self-destruction, you're dead wrong." His voice was stern. "I'm not willing to be another one of your meaningless fucks just so you can prove a point."

"You don't understand–" She tried to explain but was cut short.

"Let me ask you something. Have you ever felt so much pain that you shut down the possibly of getting close to anyone because you're afraid to experience it again?" He said, staring at her disheveled hair and her pleading eyes. She nodded dubiously. "I feel like that about you, Charlie. And I hate it."

Her eyebrows raised. "So you're pushing me away because you're afraid of feeling pain?" She somehow found the situation amusing. "You who has been lecturing me about feeling something, anything?" Charlie looked him up and down. "You're a coward, not to mention a hypocrite."

Bass looked at her both pleased by how she standing up to him and offended by her words. "You're telling me you don't mind getting hurt?"

"No. What I'm saying is that we don't have time to worry about the future. We have to live in the moment. And here and now, you can't deny yourself the ability to feel because you're afraid of the hurt that will follow." She stood toe to toe with him, tilting her head upwards to meet his gaze. "Besides, isn't feeling pain better than not feeling anything? Isn't it almost a guarantee that pain as a result from loss means you cared enough to love something, someone? Isn't that what makes you human?" She laughed, "And here you are, telling me that I'm stripping away my humanity, when you're just as afraid to let your feelings show."

Bass looked at her in awe. How old was she again? Why was she talking to him like she was the wisest of the two? He almost felt silly for scolding her earlier. She was right, he was being a coward and a hypocrite but this didn't excuse her behavior.

"You're right." He admitted. "But if you're so eager to let out all your frustrations with a quick lay then go find someone else to do you that favor."

She huffed, her nostrils flaring. "Favor? You think you're doing me a favor if you fuck me?" She laughed. "Please. You're telling me it's so easy for you to find a girl like me who wants to sleep with you?" Her mind was actually saying yes. Charlie knew that someone like Sebastian Monroe could easily bed anyone he wanted. But he didn't need to hear it from her. "If anyone's doing anyone a favor, it's me."

Bass smirked, running his hand over his facial hair. Something about the way she talked to him caused him to harden under his pants. He looked at her with hungry eyes, taking a hold of her arms and producing a taunting smile on her. "Don't get snarky with me unless you want to be proven wrong."

The threat alone made Charlie's heat pulse. "What are you gonna do? Punish me with indifference?" She licked her lips.

"Don't tempt me, Charlotte." He replied, "You won't like the consequences."

"What makes you so sure I won't like it?" She retorted, a flicker of contempt in her eyes.

His expression darkened, his hands wrapped around her waist as he lowered her to the ground in a desperate move. Charlie felt like she was going to combust from anticipation, she wanted him naked and inside her the moment she felt his hardness press against her legs. He kissed her roughly, his teeth scraping her skin and sucking on her plump lips. They quickly discarded their clothes, his shirt slid off his body and she ran her hands over his shoulders and arms as he began to pull on the hem of her top. There was so much movement, one minute she found herself on top of him and the next she was crushed beneath him. They were both stubbornly battling for dominance over the other and it filled Charlie with an incomparable rush.

Bass took off her boots, followed by her jeans and what she was wearing underneath. He quickly unbuckled his belt, not once looking away from her fully nude figure. His cock was throbbing with want and he pulled down his jeans until they got wrapped around his knees. Charlie panted, parting her legs and taking a hold of his ass to bring him closer. She needed to feel him. He plunged into her hard, filling her up and making her exhale a loud moan. Her fingers got entangled in his hair as her mouth continued to bruise his lips. It didn't take long for Charlie to feel like she was ready to come but she forced herself to keep it from happening. It was too soon to give him that big of a satisfaction. One thing she couldn't deny was that he knew exactly what he was doing. He had definitely mastered this craft. Bass looked at her in the eyes for what seemed like forever, glancing at her parted lips as little whimpers spilled out of them. He kissed her again, differently this time, like he was afraid to break her if he was too rough. His hand ran over her breasts, fingers pleasuring her perked nipples as he continued to pump himself into her. It was enough for Charlie to let herself go, breathing heavily as she came and pulling him down again for another heated kiss.

Her loud moans quieted down as Bass flipped her on her side, being careful to position her over the clothing and not the dried grass. Lifting her leg up, he slipped into her from behind and Charlie looked at him over her shoulder, strands of hair falling over her face. His hands slid over her side, tracing along her curves and digging into the firmness of her thighs. It only took a few more thrusts and for him to slightly adjust his angle for her to reach the brink of another fulfilling orgasm. She whimpered, muttering his name as she pushed back into him. Bass buried his face in her neck, feeling closer to his imminent release. He pushed harder and deeper into her until he finally pulled out, spilling himself over to the side.

Charlie rested on her back, smiling and basking in the lingering euphoric sensation. She hated to admit it but he had certainly proved her wrong. Her eyes caught sight of the clouds above once again, they glided gently over the atmosphere and collided with each other to form even bigger masses. She realized it was the first time in a long time she had felt so alive. She looked over at Bass and they both stared at each other in silence. His hand searched for hers amidst the grassy surface until their fingers entwined. Was she going to get hurt? Probably. Was it worth it? There was no doubt in her mind.

Reviews are very much appreciated. xoxo.