Title: Crossed Wires
Relationship: Hermione/Charlie
Genre: Romance/Drama
Rating: T
Word Count: 727
Summary: It all could've been avoided if they'd simply admitted what they were feeling in the first place.

Crossed Wires

"It's nothing," she protested, crossing her arms over her chest obstinately.

Growling, he grabbed a bowl of water and a handful of rags. "It's something."

She rolled her eyes. "This is to be expected… I'm new; they need to know how far they can push me…"

His jaw clenched. "Push you any harder and you'll be ash."

Her lips pursed. "If you're thinking of talking me out of this then you can just—"

"Damn it Hermione!" he yelled, cutting her off entirely. He stared up at her, his expression so intense she couldn't form words. "You could've died. Do you get that?" Searching, his blue-green eyes bore into hers for recognition. "Three more inches…" He motioned to her leg. "You would've bled out in seconds." Standing up suddenly, he sneered down at her, "This isn't a game, little girl!"

Suddenly quite fierce herself, she leapt up, balancing on one leg without care. "If you think for one second I'm going to sit by as you belittle me and my actions, you can stuff it, Charlie. I worked my arse off to get here and I'm not going to let your gender and age issues get in the way. Regardless of whether or not you consider me family or friend, this is my life and I know perfectly well how close I came to losing it!" With a glare, she half-yelled, "Did it ever occur to you that perhaps instead of focusing on the fact that I nearly died I decided instead to think that I'm still alive?" She hopped toward him angrily, using her bad leg only enough to get her a few inches closer. "That perhaps I'm just happy I didn't get sliced to pieces today? So happy that I might see your charming but arrogant face once more? Or hear you go on and on about your precious dragons and read me passages from your favorite books just to hear your voice? Huh? Did it?" With a flush and a shaking exhalation of air, she turned as if to hobble out of the tent and away.

He caught her easily, hauling her up off the dirt ground and gathering her into his arms. He buried his face into her hair, breathing shakily. "I didn't know, I didn't… I was holding back all this time because I thought…" He kissed her neck, lips smoothing up her throat frantically.

She lifted her legs, wrapping them around his waist, forgetting all about pain.

He cupped her arse, drawing her tight against him and stumbled his way toward the bed. Teeth and tongue explored her neck and shoulders while she clawed at his shirt, trying desperately to get it off. It was only as they fell with him beneath her and her cry of agony rang in their ears that they remembered just what brought them there. "Your leg… Bugger me blue," he rasped, hurrying to get off her and check her injury.

"It's fine, really," she said, logic flying out the window as she caught sight of his warm, sculpted body beneath his button-up shirt.

He shook his head, even if a smirk tugged at his lips. "Much as I'd like to believe that, I better get you to the medi-tent."

She sighed, lips pursing in a pout. "Y'know, this is all your fault, really."

Charlie cocked an orange brow. "Yeah?"

"Yes!" She nodded emphatically. "If you'd only told me you had feelings for me as well, we would've had this moment long before I ever had a dragon claw imbedded into my leg."

His expression drew tight for a moment. Sitting next to her, he took her hand in his, threading their fingers. "I regret not telling you, I do… I had a lot of assumptions proven wrong." He shook his head. "But I swear, if you're ever so foolish out there again and manage to get yourself mangled up like this… I'll throttle you myself!"

With a suggestive smirk, Hermione looked up at him impishly. "Why Charlie Weasley, I had no idea punishing me was on your mind all this time…"

With a laugh, he hauled her up into his arms and made to leave. "Trust me, Granger, soon as you're healed up, I can guarantee you'll enjoy every second of it."

No doubt she would take that vow to the bank in near future.