Author's Note: The following fic came to mind after I was involved in a fun conversation with some fellow Charloe fans on Twitter last week. It's a work in progress - first several chapters are done. I'll try to keep it short enough so that I can wrap it up before the next new ep airs... Rated M for the same reasons my fics are almost always rated M. :)
Prologue: A couple months have passed since Bass first truly began to notice something was different. Something had shifted. The occasional glance that lasted moments too long, the 'accidental' touches as they passed each other, the way his heartbeat accelerated when ever she was near, the way he found himself getting aroused merely at the sound of her voice... Bass didn't know how or why this change had occurred. He only knew that he wanted Charlie in a way he'd never expected. The obstacles were as enormous as they were obvious: as Miles' niece, she would of course be off limits, and there was the age difference which wasn't a big deal to Bass, but it probably would be to her, and then the biggest problem was that she hated him. Or did she? Lately he was having some serious doubts about that. Yes, she had definitely hated him at one time - so much so that she'd wanted him dead. But that was then... Now they seem to have a connection, a shared trust, a bond. She keeps saying she hates him, but it just doesn't ring true anymore. You can't tell someone you hate them while eye-fucking them at the same time. And lately - the eye-fucking had gone into overdrive. Damn. Bass is in trouble. Worst of all of the obstacles is of course the fact that she had screwed his son - HIS SON - when they were in New Vegas. Bass had been shocked when he found them, shocked and pissed and very, very jealous. He'd tried to play it off like it didn't matter... but it did. Now he doesn't even know what (if anything) is going on between Connor and Charlie. He knows that he should wash his hands of the very thought of her. Trouble is, that is much easier said than done. Charlie Matheson is under his skin.
Bass hears the yelling long before he actually can identify that the voices belong to Miles, Rachel and Charlie. There is tension and anger in this yelling, and the closer he gets to the house – the more intense the argument gets. He stops at the foot of the steps that lead to the rickety porch. For just a moment he closes his eyes and wonders if they are arguing about him, or something he's done. It wouldn't be the first time.
He has decided to bide his time, and maybe listen for some clues as to what is going on when Connor joins him. "What the hell is that about?" he asks his Dad in a loud whisper.
Bass shrugs, "No idea." He's leaning casually against the corner of the safe house, just a few feet from the steps that lead to the back door. Connor decides to join his Dad, sitting down on the edge of the porch. They both listen to the argument coming from within the house, waiting for some clarity.
The clarity they were hoping for comes fairly quickly.
"Listen to me, this was not the way we wanted to.."
"No, YOU listen to me! You've had twenty two years to tell me that…"
"But we didn't think that was.."
"Yeah, shocker, you didn't THINK.."
"Listen Charlie, we know we could have handled this better…"
"Ya think? Jesus. Did Dad even know?"
"Yes, of course he did." Rachel sounds suddenly very tired.
"And what, he didn't care?" Charlie's voice has also softened a little, but she's still angry.
"Of course he cared. He cared enough to raise you as his own. He knew it was the right thing to do. I wasn't in a good place to be a Dad to you."
Bass is no longer leaning against the house casually. Now he is standing at the foot of the steps, clearly surprised. "What the hell?" he whispers softly.
"I'm so sorry Charlie. I really am."
"We both are."
"I can't… I can't look at you guys right now, Okay? I need some time."
The door slams open, and Charlie barrels out, running smack into Bass. He catches her easily, and for just a moment they are chest to chest. Reflexively he wraps his arms around her to keep her from falling. He looks down and she meets his gaze. Charlie is upset, but even so – she sees both shock and a flash of desire in those blue eyes. Bass sees her jaw is set in a firm line and her eyes glisten with unshed tears. She looks from one Monroe to the other, and her gaze settles back on Bass. Eyeing his state of shock, she says, "Good. I was going to ask if you knew. Clearly you didn't." She pulls from Bass' embrace, and storms past them without another word.
Bass looks up to see Miles and Rachel emerging from the house. They both look devastated.
"So you're Charlie's….?"
"How did I not know this?" Bass finds that he's hurt more than shocked. They've been best friends for far too long for this kind of secret to exist between them.
"Seriously Bass? You knocked up my high school girlfriend and didn't think to mention that you'd even slept with her. We've had our fair share of secrets." He looks pointedly at Connor.
Bass nods in acknowledgement, "Fair enough."
Rachel turns and walks back inside without another word. Connor just shakes his head and walks away. This is a lot to digest. He wonders how Charlie is doing and goes to find her.
Miles runs a hand through his hair, and shakes off the emotions he's been fighting. Squaring his shoulders, he changes the subject, "So we got a message from Affleck today."
"You have got to be kidding me? What does that prick want?"
"To join us, oddly enough, in fighting the Patriots. Evidently they are encroaching on the California Commonwealth and he's decided he's sat this one out long enough."
"What a tool. We've been struggling and fighting while he sits on his high horse, and now that danger is at his door, he's finally willing to get his hands dirty?" Bass is clearly agitated. "So what's the catch? That asshat Affleck never does anything for free."
"Well, now that you mention it; he has mentioned one stipulation to giving us help."
"What?" Bass growls suspiciously.
"He says he'll give us all the men we need, but first you have to go out there and apologize in person."
"And we're going to tell him 'hell no', right Miles?" Bass is pissed, "Right? You know how much I hate that guy. I don't want to go all the way out there just to kiss his ass."
Miles tries to hide a smile, but fails. "Bass, you did screw his wife, DURING his inauguration."
Bass is still not happy about this proposition, but the memory does bring a chuckle. Soon the two are laughing hard, Bass nearly doubled over. "Oh the look on his face when he found us."
"You were even wearing a little button with his name on it!" Miles howls. "I was sure you were a dead man."
"Yeah, so was I." Bass wipes a tear from his eye. Laughing like this brings the old friendship some new life. "Damn it Miles, she was worth it. I'm not kidding, she could do this thing with her - "
Miles holds up a hand, stopping Bass mid-sentence, "When you go see him, maybe don't open with THAT." Miles smacks his oldest friend on the back and the two start laughing again. "Hey the good news is he's promised not to kill you, so there's that."
Bass shakes his head, but his smile is still in tact. "That is good news, I guess." Clearly Bass needs to pack. He's going to California.
Charlie is on the other side of camp when Connor finds her. She has taken off her jacket and has slung it over a nearby stump. She is chopping wood with an axe and he takes a moment to admire the way her muscles move under tight tan skin. Her tank top is sticking to her sweaty flesh, and Connor can't help but stare.
"I'm not in the mood Junior." She fumes, not looking at him. "Go away." He doesn't know why she has started calling him that, and honestly it pisses him off. She was willing to fuck him that time in New Vegas, and now he's been demoted to child status. He's tried to repeat that hookup, but she's had no interest whatsoever. It grates on him, but he can see this isn't the time to discuss it.
"Come on Charlie. I'm here if you want to talk. It's not healthy to keep that anger inside."
"God, you're such a girl! I don't want to talk about it. Okay?" She continues to chop. She has wicked upper body strength for a woman. She's been training hard with Bass and Miles, honing her skills and her body speaks to the success of that training.
"I thought it might help if you could get it off your chest, you know? I didn't know who my Dad was either. We have that in common, and I'm a good listener."
"I really don't think our parentage has all that much in common. My Biological father hasn't used my Mom as a human shield yet, for example." She continues chopping, not noticing the look on Connor's face.
"What are you talking about?" he says quietly. He doesn't sound mad, but something in his tone makes Charlie stop mid swing. Carefully she sits the axe down and really looks at him.
"I thought you knew."
"That Monroe used your Mom as a human shield. He'd locked up most of the town in a building and was going to burn it to the ground with all of them inside. Your Mom got caught in some crossfire and she died in his arms."
"No." Connor is shaking his head in denial; but he sees the truth in her sympathetic expression.
Charlie picks up the axe and begins to chop again. "I guess we do share something after all Junior – people who are supposed to love us, but lie to our faces instead."
Connor walks off, fuming. He needs to talk to Bass.
Author's note: Make sure you are watching Revolution every chance you get. Renewal in serious doubt.