Pefectly Pathetic

A/n: Haven't had a Cabin Story in awhile. Enjoy!

Warnings: Here's your warning, this is CharliexOdd centered. Don't like? Don't read. Also, this has a slightly higher rating, like T and a half, due to sexual references and some language, but it's nothing too bad. Also some William-bashing in the form of exaggerated character traits.


Ulrich was pacing a hole in the floor, hands shoved in his pockets with his usual disapproving frown on his face. This time, however, it wasn't aimed at Odd and Charlie, it was meant only for his baby sister. "Where the hell is she?" he mumbled, taking another glance out of the window.

Odd stretched his back, reclining back on his pillow, duffle slung to the end of the couch.

"Hope that was rhetorical," he yawned. "Because I wouldn't know." He closed his eyes. They were already a half hour later for leaving. Yumi was angry and Jeremie had decided it was best if they went and got the coffee before she blew a gasket. Aelita volunteered to stay back to 'keep the others out of trouble'.

The brunette shot his best friend a glare before they heard a car pull onto the stone-covered driveway. Ulrich took another glance out the window before murmuring a "Thank God" upon seeing his little sister's black pick-up truck.

"One day you'll die of a heart attack." Odd didn't sit up. His head lulled to the side and he sighed. He was not looking forward to this trip. He would not get to fight over the room facing the water with Charlie, (because if you didn't fight for it, it wasn't worth having.) there would be no amazing romantic fireside cuddles, and there was absolutely no excuse for him to plop himself down on her bed around noon to wake her up. They were taking a 'break' and the only thing 'breaking' was the blonde's heart. But she didn't need to see that.

With her soccer duffel slung over her shoulder, Charlie busted into the cabin, arms extended over her head. "Hello, darlings!" she said cheerfully, putting her bag next to the door before the door opened, revealing William.

Ulrich's eyes widened. "What's he doing here?"

Odd peeked open one eye to see William looming in the doorway.

"What the hell, Chare..lie?" He sat up swiftly, swinging his feet onto the hard wood. If there wasn't one more thing that could make this trip any worse….

"He's just here for the day, pa-ren-tals. Chillax," Charlie said, waving a hand at the two boys before glancing around. Lifting her bag up again, she headed for her usual room, leaving a quiet William standing in the doorway.

"Cell phone!" Odd motioned to his pocket. "Call me for dinner?" He didn't wait for Ulrich to respond, merely opened the storm door and let it slam behind him before moving to the shed. Reaching in his back pocket he pulled out his keys and unlocked the big double doors. If not for the sunlight streaming in through the small dusty window in the back, the shed would be dark as night. Sighing in disgust, Odd backed out a large, forest green, four-wheeler and grabbed his helmet off the shelves. For the first time not caring what it did to his hair, he shoved the helmet on his head and headed off for the trails, leaving the cabin's shadow in his dust.

Charlie came back out into the living room, looking at William and then Ulrich before looking at the now-empty couch. "Where'd Senor Pouty-Pants go?"

"To go kill himself in your name. The usual." Ulrich's dry humor didn't let off the feel he was worried; but he was. (And he didn't need Odd punching more rocks this summer.) The front door opened wide, nearly hitting William.

"I'm home! With coffee for...every…one? Why are you here, William?" Yumi's sunglasses fell from where they were holding her hair back to back down in her eyes and she readjusted them.

The baby Stern sighed, going over and taking William's hand and leading him into her room, slamming the door shut. The impossible just happened; Charlie had just denied coffee.

Ulrich gaped. "She just--!" He motioned to the now closed door and Yumi shook her head pushing the full tray of coffees into his hand.

"I'm going to run a bath, drink my coffee, and then go read out on the hammock. Jer and Lita are down on the docks, so if you'd like to join me outside in… say a half hour, we'll just pretend today never happened." The girl slipped off her flip-flops and headed for the main bathroom.

"Sorry about that," Charlie said with a sigh, leaning against the door and locking it so Ulrich wouldn't try and bust in screaming some profanity and being his usual dramatic self.

William sat down on her bed, not yet made up with sheets, and smiled.

"It's not a problem. I tend to get that from them quite a bit." He leaned back on his elbow, sly smile gracing his features.

"Yeah. My brother is a freak, though, so don't worry about him," she replied, sliding down to a sitting position on the ground.

The taller boy let out a near-shrill laugh. "He was never much of a threat." Which was a lie. If Ulrich kicked his ass today it wouldn't be for first time in history.

She shrugged and glanced out the window before looking back at him. "Thanks for coming with me, by the way."

"I couldn't think of a better way to spend my weekend," He sat up, now resting on his hands. "than with a beautiful girl like you."

The girl grinned sheepishly, running a hand through her hair. "I never knew you were such a sweet-talker, Will. Seriously."

He fought not to break out in a full fledge smile. "Just one of my natural talents."

"Oh? Implying other talents, I see. Care to share?" she asked with a smirk.

He groaned inwardly. There was way too much talking going on. "But if I told you them all now, there wouldn't be anything I could use to surprise you with later."

Charlie laughed a little, standing and plopping herself down on the bed next to him. "I do enjoy surprises."

"Well," he shifted his weight towards her. "I'm sure a few surprises can be arranged." He closed the space, pressing a kiss to her lips.

Charlie couldn't help but feel something kicking her brain and telling her to 'PULL BACK, PULL BACK!' but she couldn't bring herself to it; after her fight with Odd, she was so angry and hurt and confused.

In his life, there were few things William Dunbar was denied. Her response to his kiss just proved how very few those things actually were. He draped his arms lightly around her waist, deepening the kiss.

She put her hands on his shoulders, a hand threading through his hair as she shifted herself against him.

And suddenly the night didn't seem like such a waste after all. Slowly, he hooked his thumbs in the belt loops on her hips, easing her backwards onto the bed.

Okay, she could deal with laying down and making out; not like she's never done that before. But with William, it felt weird. Her mind kept trying to imagine Will as Odd but that just made the girl angry.

The boy's hands crept to the hem of her shirt, pushing it up. His cool hands dragged across her firm stomach and his did a back flip. He broke for air, murmuring something about how 'absolutely sexy' she was before crashing back, almost awkwardly, against her lips.

...there was something wrong with this. And that was exactly what Charlie was thinking as she pulled away from William, laughing slightly as his hands brushed against her stomach. "Will..." she mumbled, breathlessly.

"Mmhm?" He moved his kisses to her neck, tongue flitting out against her pulse point as his hand continued its ascent.

"Will... stop. Please," she said, taking a deep breath and trying to move herself away from him. "Things are moving too fast between us, and.."

"And…?" The disappointment and near exasperation was not lost in his voice.

"And things just aren't right, okay?" she said with a frown.

"Charlie, you're not seriously telling me we drove two hours up to a cabin in the middle of no where to sit and chat are you?" He leaned in a little closer.

The girl paused, feeling her cheeks get hot with embarrassment. "Well, I didn't expect you to try and get in my pants within the first twenty minutes of being here."

He raised an eyebrow, nearly laughing. "Uhm, you're the one who locked the door behind you. Exactly what was I suppose to think?"

"That I wanted to be away from my brother and my idiot ex. boyfriend?" she said, sitting up.

William shrugged nonchalantly. "Well excuse me for being presumptuous, but I didn't really think I was coming up here for my heath."

Charlie scowled at him. "Well, Mr. Sex-drive, I'll just go ahead and drive you home," she said, putting her hands on his shoulders and pushing him away so hard, he lost balance and fell off the bed. She stood, straightening out her shirt and sliding on her Chucks.

"Don't bother," he growled through gritted teeth. "I'd rather walk." He righted himself on his feet, standing off with the girl.

"Fine. Have a damn spiffy walk then," she said, unlocking the door and opening it before storming out of the house, face hidden by her hair as she walked past Ulrich and the others.

"Ugh! You little--!" Before he could finish his insult the storm door slammed for the second time that day. Ulrich opened his mouth but he held up his hand. "I'm leaving; don't bother."

She looked up as storm clouds formed above her head, and she mentally debated whether or not to see if Odd was on his way back. Frustrated, she kicked a pebble before running into the forest, tears rolling down from her eyes.

Odd pulled over next to the crick, dropping his helmet on the seat of the four-wheeler. He dropped down next to the running water and slashed it on his face. It mixed with the beads of sweat forming on his forehead, rolling down the sides of his face to the ground. He didn't remember it being so cool… Glancing up, all Odd could see was the canopy of the forest, but a certain tree caught his eyes. The leaves were upturned and that could only mean one thing. Groaning, the boy jumped back on his four-wheeler, putting his helmet on as turned over the engine. It roared to life again and he headed down the back path towards the cabin, racing the rain.

Charlie heard the engine but kept running toward the noise anyways, preferring to be caught in the storm rather than go back to the cabin.

Odd reached the cabin just in time for the first thunder clap, but he wasted as much time as possible taking his helmet off and taking the keys from the ignition. All he needed was to go back inside and see Charlie and Will. When he got in the front door, Yumi was standing in a towel, Ulrich was pacing again, Jeremie had his head down on the counter, and Aelita was perched on the edge of the couch trying to mediate. "Hey guys?"

Ulrich looked up as the door opened, seeing his friend there before nodding in his direction. "Hey, Odd," he mumbled, running a hand through his hair. "You, uh... you didn't happen to see Chare out there, did you?"

Odd froze, helmet tucked under his arm. "Charlie's in her room." He pointed before glancing over at the now opened door. "Was in her room? Where did she go?! There's a storm moving in! The first wall is huge, Ulrich. She's probably scared to death!"

"If I knew that, I wouldn't be asking you!" he yelled back. "Stupid, fucking William. I should've kicked his ass when I had the chance," Ulrich mumbled under his breath, fighting the urge to kick one of the cabin walls.

"Fuck!" Odd was already putting the helmet back on, hurrying to his untouched suitcase to pull out a lime windbreaker. "I'll drive out to the cove and if I haven't found her by then I'll call you and we'll circle the property. She couldn't have made it far. Call me if she gets back." Jacket tucked under his arm, the blonde ran out the door into the rain.

Ulrich opened his mouth to protest, but his best friend was already gone before he could say anything. Letting out a frustrated sigh, he plopped down on the couch.

The quad spit mud as Odd spun its tires, pulling out of the drive onto the main path. She could be anywhere on the property but the back path, which left the main path and any smaller path or .. you know, woods, between the cabin and cove at the top of the lake.

"Charlie!" The wind picked up, carrying his voice away. "Come on, not today," he whispered.

She had finally found refuge by the lake, sitting on a log and looking out at the water as another clap of thunder and flash of lightning filled the air. She hid her face in her hands, her back racking with a sob. The rain was pouring heavily, thoroughly soaking her through her green track t-shirt.

Trees whipped in the wind and the main path was looking more and more dangerous with the first wall moving over the area. Odd took the first path he hit towards the lake, screaming Charlie's name at the top of his lungs, praying to every greater force he could think of the help him find her.

Her ears picked something up and lifted her face out of her hands, looking around and wiping her soaking hair away from her face before shaking her head.

"Charlie! Charlie Mariah!" Voice going hoarse, Odd slowed his pace, nearly spinning out as a branch blocked the path behind him. "Fantastic," he spat, taking the lake path. He was nearly to the cove and still no sign of Charlie.

An engine came into earshot and she looked to her right as another lightning bolt flashed in the sky. Charlie screamed, covering her ears and biting her lip.

Odd's heart wrenched when he heard a scream, but in the next beat soared when he realized she was close by. In his distraction, the blonde slipped on the clutch and the bike stalled for a moment, sending him with a jerk into the handle bars. He coughed, righting himself and hitting the gas again, heading towards the scream.

"I'm going to die," she murmured. "I'm going to die all because I didn't let Will into my pants. What the shit. How is this fair?" the girl whined, hands fisting in her hair. She shivered underneath the cold water that was pouring on her, and absorbed in her shirt.

Finally he reached the clearing, only to see Charlie huddled on a log, body shaking, face in her hands. He barely hit the breaks, jumping off the quad and grabbing the windbreaker from the compartment. It was relatively dry compared to his rain soaked body. "Charlie! Chare!" He ran down the small incline towards her.

Her head shot up and she looked behind her to see the one person she needed most at that moment; she wasn't going to die, and life was fair again. "O-Odd...?" she said, voice cracking as she stood. "Odd!" she jumped over the log, stumbling slightly due to the lack of feeling in her legs but she quickly regained her balance and ran toward him.

"Thank God, Charlie." The boy was in full fledged sobs when he pulled her into his arms. "You're alright. You're ok. I've got you."

The girl threw her arms around his neck, burying her face in his shoulder and cried. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," she said. "I'm such an idiot. I'm such an idiot. I..." she stopped herself as thunder erupted once more.

"It's ok," he whispered, carefully wrapping the jacket over her soaked frame. He pressed a kiss to her cheek and held it longer than necessary. "We'll wait out the storm in the cove." He took off his helmet and put it on her head. The tear streaks on his cheeks were even more exposed as the lightning flashed around them.

Charlie sniffled, pulling away from him and wiping her eyes with the back of her hand before wiping the tear streaks on his cheeks away with her thumb. She looked confused and blank and lost about the entire situation, but focused her eyes into his and nodded.

He laced his hand with hers, carefully pulling her back towards the quad. He helped her on to the front, as apposed to the back, and breathed in a shaky breath as he put pulled them onto the lake path again. Fighting wind, with rain pounding down on his bare arms, Odd figured it would take under three minutes to get to the cove.

Charlie had her eyes closed the entire time, her head pounding. Despite having the windbreaker wrapped around her, she was still freezing and still shivering and still pale.

They hit the cove and Odd killed the motor, letting it coast into the dryness. The wind was reduced in the half enclosed space, but it whistled against the opening. Odd got off, holding his hand out for the girl shaking against the tank.

She reached out and took it, getting off the four-wheeler with slight difficulty. Stumbling slightly again, Charlie stood up straight and tugged at the windbreaker with her free hand before looking back at Odd.

He couldn't tell if the water running off his face was rain or tears. Panting in quiet breaths, he studied her face. "I'm sorry, Chare."

"N-no. I'm... I'm the one that was an idiot. I'm..." she couldn't say anything more than that besides 'I'm sorry.'

"Absolutely not. If I hadn't been such a stupid jerk we wouldn't have fought and we wouldn't have taken a fucking break and you'd never have brought Dunbar up here and neither of us would have left that cabin and you wouldn't be in this storm, right now." His face wavered and he felt like the biggest failure on the face of the planet. She must have been freezing to death, soaked to the bone… and she was so pale.

She couldn't remember the last time she cried for such an extended amount of time, but today had to take the cake; she had been furious and confused and a whole slew of emotions, and her day turned out to be a roller coaster. Charlie couldn't say much besides how much of an idiot she was and how sorry she was, and she refused to hear anything different from him. She shivered, rubbing her hands up and down her biceps to warm herself up.

He took a step closer to her as thunder rattled the cove, he pushed the wet hair lightly away from her face with his fingertips. "Please forgive me?" his voice cracked as he tried to lock eyes with her again.

She had closed her eyes, flinching at the thunder until it passed, and her brown eyes met his blue ones. "Only if you forgive me," she said quietly, stepping toward him and wrapping her arms around his middle.

Fresh tears rolled down his cheeks and a wave of relief struck him and he held her as close as he possibly could, willing every bit of his body heat to flood into her. "Of course, of course. God Chare, I love you so much." He buried his face against her hair, rocking them both.

"Would you still love me if I went to jail?" she asked with a small smile on her purple-turning-normal-pink lips.

He didn't dare pull away to stare at her blankly. "What did you do?"

"It's not what I did, it's what I'm going to do," Charlie said quietly, resting her forehead on his shoulder.

He sighed, scooping her up and carrying her farther into the cove, away from the entrance and the wind. "Tell me."

"I'm going to fucking murder Will, of course!" she hissed, feeling her blood boil. "That fucking idiot. No. No! I'm the idiot because I brought him here, and I supposedly 'led him on' and 'gave him the wrong idea'."

Odd gripped her a little tighter, jaw set and eyes locked on the slick stone in front of him as he eased him and Charlie to the ground. "Don't worry about William. I've got dibs."

"No way. If anyone gets to totally rip Dunbar apart, it's me. Shoving him off my bed just wasn't satisfying enough for me," she growled, fisting his shirt in her hands.

"Shoving him off your..?" He sighed and rubbed her legs, bringing back some circulation into them. And giving him something to look at other than her eyes. He couldn't think about this; he couldn't imagine her with him. Her with anyone other than himself. He would rather die.

She merely nodded and leaned against him, her fist loosening the shirt in it. Sniffling again, she tried to relax and not think of anything. "I broke my cell phone."

"We'll get you a new one," he answered, suddenly remembering about the others back at the cabin. He sat up, bracing his back against the stone so he could get the phone out of his pocket. He sent a quick text to Ulrich containing no more than the words 'found her' and set the mobile down next to them. Lightning filled the cove and Odd counted to five before the thunder rolled through.

"I threw it at a rock," she stated, sounding very neutral about the entire situation. "And it shattered. And then I kicked the pieces into the lake."

He rested his head against hers. "We're quite the pair, aren't we?" The second wall started to move through and the wind picked up again.

She shivered again but smiled all the same; she had always had anger issues that she should probably get help for, but chose not to.

Part of him just wanted to cry and scream and demand to know why of all the people in the world she would subject herself to William Dunbar. The biggest part of him was just to happy to have her in his arms. "I don't want to fight with you anymore," he whispered.

"Yeah, I only want you in my bed too, Odd," she said with a teasing laugh, glancing at him with a smile. Her hair was plastered to her face but looked like it was drying.

He offered a pained laugh. "I mean it, Chare. We're always going to argue because obviously neither of us are ever wrong, right? But if anything would have happened to you out there I wouldn't have forgiven myself."

"Yeah, I know. I shouldn't have run out when I did, but... ugh. I didn't want Will there and I didn't want Ulrich to try and pry info out of me, and I really didn't want to be bothered," she said, smile fading.

"Don't worry." The lightning flashed again and Odd counted once more. Ten seconds. "Storm's moving out."

Charlie shut her eyes tightly before nodding. "Good. Storms are queer."

"Yeah well, it's storm season." He looked down at her, smile touching his lips. "You look like you could use a hot bath and a good night's sleep."

"Among other things, totally," she said with a relaxed smile. A hot bath was totally what she needed.

He nuzzled her neck, laughing lightly on her skin. "Let's head back."

The brunette nodded, standing and offering him a hand up.

Odd dropped his head back against the wall, grinning up at her for a moment, before taking the proffered hand. The rain was nothing more than a drizzle and the lightning and thunder had stopped completely by now.

Hoisting him up with ease, her arms weren't as numb as they previously were, and she wasn't as pale as a white sheet anymore. Upon lifting him up, she tugged his hand, thus pulling him toward her and laid a kiss on his lips. "I missed you," she said with a murmur.

He grinned a lopsided grin. "I missed you, too, hun."

She grinned back, kissing him again before skipping over to the four wheeler, hopping on it. "Let's go, fool. I want hot chocolate"

"Sounds like a plan." Odd put the helmet back on her head and dropped on in front of her. He turned over the quads engine and pulled out of the cove. The air was cooler even then before but the sky was slightly less grey. What a rotten day.

She smiled, wrapping an arm around his waist, after taking off the helmet, and laid her head against his back, taking in his smell; a mixture of sweat, rain, and the cologne that her mother had sent him for his birthday.

They pulled onto the main pathway, dodging the endless brush that had fallen in storm until they hit the turn off for the cabin. "I'll hold off your brother while you get a bath, alright?" he teased, voice slightly raised over the motor.

"Love you lots!" she replied, giving his form a squeeze and looking around him to see what part of the woods they were in.

He gave himself a moment to melt before taking the last corner. It had been a very long day.

Upon the vehicle slowing down, she jumped off it, heading for the window of the bathroom. Peering into it and seeing it was clear (if it wasn't she'd have to go wash her brain in the lake), the Stern opened it up and hoisted herself in, falling less-than-gracefully on the floor.

Odd parked and sighed, hitting his head with an open hand. "She'll be the death of me." He went in the front door (like a normal person) to find Yumi (no longer in a towel) and Ulrich curled up on the couch and Aelita and Jeremie no where in sight.

"Where's Charlie?!" Ulrich sat up, eyes alert for his sister.

"Uhm, she went in the window. She needs a hot shower."

"Hi, Twinny!" she called from the bathroom, twisting the knobs of the bathtub to 'SUPER EXTRA HOT' and removing her wet, cold, muddy clothing.

Yumi sighed looking at Odd, also filthy and covered in mod, soaked through to his skin. "So everything's…alright then?"

"Other than that funeral for Dunbar you're going to have to plan. What sounds better for the eulogy? William the Fucking Prick or William the Stupid Fucking Prick?" Ulrich grinned.

"Second."

"That's what I thought!" He pulled his shirt over his head and shook out his hair.

"Ew!" Yumi complained holding her hands up to block the grime.

Putting the bubbles in the bathtub and tying her hair up in a high ponytail, she stepped into the tub, towel falling beside her on the floor. Once the water and bubbles were filled high enough to her liking, she shut off the water and leaned back to relax.

Odd ruffled his hair with a towel, suitcase dragging behind him to his room. He caught a glance of himself in the door mirror and cringed. He tossed his wet clothes in the hamper and pulled on a pair of dry cargos. Today, Odd had reached every extreme of every emotion and was totally drained and feeling very much like a girl. God, how did she do this to him?

Twenty minutes later, Charlie walked into her room, wearing nothing but wrapped in a towel. She felt much better than she had earlier that day, especially now that her and Will weren't. together.

Odd figured there was enough sand in the bottom of the fire pit to absorb any water left over from the rain and started adding dry wood from the shed. As much as today had turned around, he still needed his little destruction to calm him, and he was going stir crazy with Charlie in the bath for the past million hours. He lit a match from the book in his pocket and set the kindling ablaze, dropping the match stick in as the wood started to smoke. The massive bonfire would burn all night.

Charlie came out in a pair of jeans (of the ripped variety, of course) and one of her newly purchased zip-up sweaters; lime green with a black strip on each of the arms. "Looks nice," she commented, smiling slightly.

Odd shrugged bare shoulders, hands in his front pockets. "Could be better, but Yumi hid the gasoline after last summer's incident."

"Try lighter fluid, then?" she asked, looking to the side and sticking her hands in her back pockets.

He broke his gaze from the fire and looked up, offering the girl a smile. "I knew I love you for a reason," he laughed quietly.

She nodded. "I'm bright like that, I guess."

Odd nodded, taking his hands out of his pockets and sitting on the thick wool blanket he had draped over one of the logs. "Did you want to…sit with me? Or something?" Great. He was nervous and acting like they were celebrating their one week all over again. What a preteen.

"Uhh," she started out, looking down before looking at him. "Sure, I guess." The girl went over and sat down besides him.

Odd brought his feet up and folded his arms over his knees. "Have a nice bath?"

Charlie nodded. "Guess I did. It was, um... warm," she said with a small, small smile, but it quickly disappeared. She wiggled her bare toes against the wet dirt that surrounded the fire and they quickly were covered in said brown element.

He didn't look up from the flames. "This is…. We're acting really pathetic right now aren't we?"

She paused before kicking the dirt. "Guess we are."

He looked over at her, chin resting on his shoulder. "Guess we are," he agreed a smirk beginning to play on his lips. "But you want to know what?"

The girl glanced at him, saw his smirk, and raised in eyebrow. "...what?"

"I haven't kissed you properly in a three weeks, four days and…" he glanced through the back door to the clock. "Seventeen hours. So if you promise not to punch me too hard or hold me under water, I'm going to kiss you, ok?"

She paused and sat up, looking at him fully. For the first time since she had fallen for Odd, she could feel her face get hot; she blamed it on the heat of the fire. "Ah... okay."

"Ok." Smile never leaving his face, he dropped his feet from the log and scooted closer to the girl next to her. Without another word, he leaned forward capturing her lips, letting one hand rest on her knee while the other cupped her cheek.

Placing a hand on his upper arm, she shifted her head so their lips molded more comfortably. A shiver went up her spine and caused her to shake slightly.

Odd smiled into the kiss, wrapping both arms around her and pulling her against him. God, he missed this more than oxygen.

After a few minutes, she pulled away, resting her forehead against his, panting slightly. "Is it, um... hot in here or is it just me?"

He held her tightly, soft smile still on his face. "Probably just you."

She let out a quiet, breathless laugh. "It always is."

Charlie's breath on his face sent a chill through Odd's body and he tried his best to cover it up with a laugh.

Pausing, the brunette pulled away and stood, stripping off her sweater and looking down at him with a growing, devious grin.

Odd groaned inwardly at the grin. What could Charlie possibly be up to now? The blonde didn't like the answer that was sure to follow. Nothing good.

Tossing the discarded article of clothing onto the log, she jumped over it and ran towards the dock.

The boy looked up at the still cloudy sky for a brief second, sighing to himself. "Charlie! Get back here!" He took off after the girl.

She laughed and ran faster until she got to the end of the wooden dock and jumped off, turning her body into a cannonball.

He muttered to himself and he ran down the incline to the dock after her. "I just got you in out of the cold water!" He dove off the end of the dock into the lake water.

Surfacing, Charlie spit out the lake water she had caught in her mouth, shaking her head and looking around with a grin.

And though he'd never admit it, he hated this lake in the dark. He was sure something was going to eat him at any moment. He peered up from under the surface to where Charlie was treading water and pushed off the bottom, hands outstretched to seize her waist.

She squeaked and laughed loudly as he got to her waist, trying to push him off (not that she wanted him to let go, it was just rather difficult to keep her head above water with a boy attached to her). "Odd!"

He surfaced next to her, now treading his own weight. "Yes?"

"What are you doing in here?" she asked, looking at him.

"Seemed like the thing to do at the time," he answered, pushing his hair back out of his face.

Charlie laughed at him before taking a deep breath, her cheeks inflating. She lifted a hand, wiggling her fingers in a wave before emerging herself deeper in the water, slipping out of his grip. Charlie tickled his feet before swimming under him and toward the shore.

Odd cussed out loud as his heart sped up before he realized it was only Charlie. He laughed at himself, leaning back to float in the water as he watched the girl glide through the water. Sooner or later he'd have to follow.

When she reached the dock, she hoisted herself onto it and stood, her jeans and tank top clinging to her lean form.

Odd took a breath and started to swim back towards the dock, keeping an eye on Charlie the entire time. He looked up to the worn wood and sighed. Sure, the gymnast could do it, but could he?

She stood there, watching him as he swam with her hands on her hips and shivering slightly.

He pulled himself halfway up, pants nearly falling of his hip, and got one elbow up over the edge. "So not as easy as it looked," he strained, getting the other elbow over.

"10 years of gymnastics and soccer helps," she admitted as she nudged his secured elbow off the dock.

The blonde crashed back into the water with a distinctive splash. When he spluttered to the surface, eyes glaring daggers, he secured his foot against the brace and then locked his elbows on the dock, forcing himself to roll onto the deck. "You cheat," he coughed.

"You weren't doing it right," she stated with a smirk, looking down at him and folding her arms against her bust.

"I missed this day in gym class. Had to, you know, save the world and such." He flipped onto this feet and pulled up his soaked pants.

Approaching him, she wrapped her arms around his waist and sticking her hands in his butt pockets. "How'd that work out for you?" she asked with a low murmur.

Never to lose his cool (at least where Charlie could see) Odd grinned. "Not bad, apparently."

"Well, lucky us," she said with a seductive smile.

He looped his thumbs in her belt loops, pulling her flush against him. "Yes, lucky you. The thanks I get for saving lives is to be shoved off the dock by my lovely girlfriend."

She leaned up to kiss him and paused, just millimeters away from his lips. "Yup." And then she backed away, taking her hands out of his pocket and lifted his hands away from her waist and starting walking back toward the cabin.

Odd faltered, dry washing his face and groaning out loud. He trotted after her silently though, confused and soaked to the bone.

She started skipping slightly; bouncing on her toes as she walked before she did a spin and then started walking normally again.

The blonde fumed for a second. Where did she get off…? "You know what?" He closed the space between them in a short second, snatching her up tightly into his arms. "You don't get to tease me anymore tonight, or this week for that matter. You've teased me every single day for a month with other people, other guys, kissing other guys, Chare! You don't get to tease me tonight." He was not going to let her dance around with that intoxicating smile on her face another instant.

Charlie paused as he wrapped himself around her and her eyes widened. Just when she was starting to make herself feel better, of course he'd bring that up and make her feel worse than she did before. "I..."

"Yes you. You amazing, intoxicating, stubborn girl." He'd finally lost it. They knew this day would come. "Do you not see I'm so terribly in love with you that I may, in fact, die tonight from being able to hold you again?" He walked them over the fire, still in full blaze, and set her down gently on the log before draping the thick blanket over her shoulders.

"...no. No!" she stood, shaking the blanket off her shoulders and standing. "If you love me so fucking much, why didn't you go after me!" The girl screamed. "I... I thought you hated me after that fight! I thought you never wanted to see me again and that totally fucked up my head and broke my heart into a trillion little microscopic pieces! Why..." She paused, fisting her hand besides her, causing her to shake a little with anger. "Why didn't you come back sooner...?"

The color drained from Odd's face, from his entire body, in less than a nanosecond. "Go after you? Charlie you said you'd only ever be happy if you never had to see my face again. Don't you think it broke my heart too?" He stood up, almost weakly. "How do you think it felt to have the --the very oxygen of my life stolen? Everyday I watched. Every half smile, second of happiness, was one I'd never get to share with you, Charlie."

"But it was all fake! Everything was fake!" Charlie said, trying her hardest not to cry. "The others meant nothing to me. They were just... fuck, I don't even know! They weren't you!"

He took a careful step towards her. "But being away from you wasn't fake! Laying in bed and asking God why every night wasn't fake. I couldn't look at my best friend simply because you share the same blood, and the overwhelming thoughts that someone else might get a piece of the heart that pumps it kept me up at all hours sobbing, Chare." His hands hung limply at his sides.

She snatched her sweater from the log and slipped it on, lifting the hood up so it shaded her eyes; for once, the girl was speechless. "Well, I'm sorry I fucked up your life," Charlie said, voice cracking

A tear slipped down Odd's cheek and he silently cursed himself, batting at it and hoping Charlie didn't notice. "You didn't fuck up my life. Messed with my head, yeah. Crushed my heart and spirit," he muttered. "You're right. I should have went after you. I shouldn't have worried about you hating me and just went after you."

Her sleeve, which was way too long for her arm, went up and covered her mouth as she looked away and sobbed. Dropping her hand, she shook her head. "I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this right now," she said, turning to leave.

He moved forward, catching her by the elbow. "Then we're not going to do this tonight." He held tight, searching her eyes for something, anything. "J-just, just please. I love you, Charlie. I've never said that, or meant it to anyone but you."

Charlie paused, searching for something to say but couldn't find the words, and instead ended up turning around and burying her face into his damp shoulder, re-wetting it with tears, and wrapping her arms around him and clinging to him; it was obvious how their time apart changed her.

He closed his eyes in a silent prayer of thanks, arms wrapped around the girl, gently rubbing her back to soothe her. "Thank you, thank you, thank you…" he whispered over and over again into her ear.

"I want things to back to how they were before..." she whispered, voice shaking.

"They'll be better than before," he assured her. He was assuring himself though, really, that'd they'd be able to get back to normal. "I promise."

Merely nodding, her sobs and tears had slowed to a stop and she just stood there, clinging to him like a helpless child.

Odd clung back, terrified to let go of her for fear she'd run or just disappear and he'd wake up- the whole night a dream.

Reaching out a slightly-shaking hand, she took his in her own and started toward the cabin. Everyone else was already asleep when they got in, she led him to her room. She didn't care what Ulrich or the others were going to say; right then, she needed him more than ever.

Odd shut the door quietly behind him, thankful for the windless room.

The girl walked over to her unpacked suitcase and unzipped it open, pulling out some dry clothes to change into for the night and tossing them onto the bed before glancing at her boyfriend.

Almost in a dazed state, the boy pointed over his shoulder. "I'll.." he waved the hand around and then sighing, just turned around, facing the door instead of explaining.

"N-no, no, I was just... just wondering if you were going to change out of your damp clothing," she said quietly. "You went after me into the lake."

Odd glanced down at his pants and then over his shoulder at the girl. "Probably should," he whispered. A light grin touched his lips. "I'll be quick."

The Stern nodded, standing and closing the lid of her suitcase with her foot. "Okay."

Odd let himself out, leaving the door cracked and padding down the hall to his room where his suitcase was still open on his bed. He dug out a pair of black and red pajama bottoms and threw them on.

During his time out of the room, Charlie quickly stripped out of her wet clothing, kicking them next to her suitcase before putting on the black sweatpants that matched her green zip-up and a neon orange tank top.

Odd paused by Ulrich's room where the door was still half open and glanced in to see the boy unconscious, sprawled out in his usual fashion. With and eye roll, Odd headed back to Charlie's room.

By the time he got back, Charlie was already laying in bed, her tank top practically radiating.

Odd offered a grin, bouncing on to the bed next to her. "Must your clothes all glow in the dark?" he asked.

She nodded, smiling. "I'm obnoxious like that."

Odd sighed, sinking down besides her. "Wouldn't change if for the world." If it was possible, he fell in love with her all over again as he stared into her chocolate eyes through the dark.

The brunette curled up next to him, draping her arm over his middle and sighed, hot breath gliding over his skin. "Thanks for staying with me," she said, kissing his cheek.

He pressed a small, chaste kiss to her lips when she pulled away. "Thanks for letting me."

"Ulrich's going to have a fit, you know," she stated, settling back down.

"See? Things are already going back to normal." He snuggled closer to her. "Besides, it's innocent."

She nodded, closing her eyes and giving his torso a squeeze.

"Get some sleep, Chare. You've had a rough day." Tomorrow there would be hell to pay and probably bloodshed, but tonight Charlie was in his arms, entirely and completely his, and he swore he'd never let her go again. "I love you."

"I love you too, babe," she murmured, feeling herself relax against him.