Edit - 4/25/2011: I know I said that I would be splitting this story into 2 parts and would be posting the second half as a chapter 2, but I got a little more inspiration regarding this Courier and her adventures with Raul and the others. The continuation of their story will be a novella titled "White Hats" which will come out soon, probably after I get some updates going on my other stories. I'm sorry for any inconvenience! I really intended for this story to just be two quick successive one-shots, but the idea I had for the secondary story just grew. I hope you will enjoy it! Thanks for reading and thank you for your awesome reviews.
Disclaimer: Fallout + Me =/= Own. Its Bethesda's.
Author's Note: This is the first of two one-shots dealing with the relationship between Raul and the Courier. If I feel inclined I may extend it into other one-shots, but we shall see.
Warning: Although Part 1 does not really have any sex in it there is plenty of juicy adult content. Its "M" for a reason.
Whistling in the Dark
It had started out as a joke over a bottle of whiskey while they waited for Boone to finish up what he was doing. When he had first joined the Courier on their trek across the Mojave he had just picked up and left, not even bothering to go home and pick up any of his things. Maybe it was because everything had reminded him of her, Carla. It was no secret that the reason he originally left Novac in the dust was because of the memories that were there and that ever present gloom that was the feeling of betrayal. As time passed and the Courier worked her magic on his wounded heart and psyche it must have been doing him some good because a week before he had announced that he wanted to go back and pack up their things and move them back to the Lucky 38. It still wasn't a matter that required everyone to be there so the Courier had suggested that only she, Boone, and Raul go. That way there would be enough hands to help Boone with his belongings and not enough for him to get all awkward and feel like he as being pitied.
After arriving in town Boone said he would need a few days to go through he and his late wife's belongings (by himself) and told the other two in the nicest way he could muster that they should go entertain themselves until he was finished. So the Courier and her ghoul companion started poking around Novac. They got to know a few of the people and were having a terribly wonderful time with the kooky stories that a man called No-Bark Noonan told. The girl probably shouldn't have found them so funny because he was obviously not well in the head, but it wasn't like she made fun of him. One in particular caught the Courier's attention, mostly because it mirrored a problem in reality and she was off like a shot to the McBride farm to get their take on the mysterious "chupucabra" that was killing their livestock – the one that apparently was invisible, but not as invisible as its companion, which it was known to speak with at times.
Dusty McBride wasn't into believing fairy tails, but he did believe there was someone out there that really wanted to kill his Brahmin. He hoped that they'd just stop and move on, maybe a bunch of traveling hoodlums, but as the Courier's face quirked up in thought it was obvious that she did not believe this about as much as Dusty didn't believe in No-Bark's chupucabra. It seemed someone was intent on systematically killing McBride's livelihood, for whatever reason she did not know, but she had a feeling that it would not stop until someone did something about it. Naturally she had to promise to resolve the problem, which led to the pair sitting out to the side of the house in the middle of the night talking about blood sucking creatures and other such myths.
"Oh, come on, you've never heard of Sasquatch?" The Courier exclaimed.
"It's supposed to be a big ape-man thing." The Courier described. "Mostly it's rumored to be 8 feet tall with a really bad smell. Sometimes it just watched people, other times it gets really aggressive. There're stories from all over the world about it. Sasquatch is just the northern American name for it, while in the south they called it Big Foot, and somewhere across the ocean they called it a Yeti or the Abominable Snowman. My daddy used to tell me all kinds of stories about stuff like that."
"Your daddy must have been a very interesting man, boss." Raul admitted, giving his companion a sidelong glance. He'd been around for a long time and didn't think he'd ever met anyone as, well, as odd as the woman known as The Courier was. Now hearing about her strange father gave a partial answer for that. This oddness was most likely genetic.
"He was." She said with a nostalgic smile before diving right back into the conversation. "But can you imagine all those places believing the very same thing, so far away, and with stories existing long before the people from each place even met each other. It makes you wonder if these things exist, I mean, they have to. It can't just be coincidence."
Stranger things had happened he supposed, like a girl getting shot in the head and surviving or that same girl risking her life on the odd chance someone might need her help at the top of an irradiated mountain, or perhaps the biggest oddity, at least for him, was the fact when said girl invited an old ghoul to tag along with her after storming that mountain. "It sure is something to think about."
The Courier checked the time on her pip boy again, making sure that they'd be ready when the time came to spring the trap. A content silence fell between them as they each did their own simple tasks. He checked his firearms once more and she went through a few of her possessions, taking quick inventory of what she had and didn't have and what she needed to go buy next time they were near a merchant. Finally she was speaking again, "do you believe in monsters, Raul?"
If it had been someone else, and if they had used a different tone he would not have taken it seriously, but she was looking at him with solemn eyes and had that calm, almost thoughtful voice that he knew she was no longer joking about the subject, and was deeply curious. "It depends upon what kind of monsters you mean. There are a lot of monsters in this world, kid. Some people are monsters, some creatures are called monsters; hell, some people might consider me a monster."
She leaned over to nudge his shoulder with her head, a gentle smile softening her expression. "You're not a monster."
"I'm glad you think so." And he meant it. He'd wandered the wastes for a long time, always alone. When he had met her she'd fast became the most important thing in his life. Lady Luck must have smiled upon him that day, sending not only a smart and beautiful girl to his rescue, but one that happened to have a soft spot for ghouls and a smile that lit the entire world like the sun.
Still leaning against him she slipped one arm through his and hugged it gently, eyes closed and that smile still on her face. A breeze kicked up and blew errant strands of jet-black hair across her eyes and he fought the urge to reach up and brush them out of the way. He didn't know why such a simple act should be so hard. Perhaps it was all those years he had spent in isolation, making it hard for him to initiate any kind of touch himself, or the fact that most people did view him as something lesser just because of what he'd become, but he'd be fooling himself if he believed either one of those things. The real reason was because more than once he'd wondered what it would have been like if he'd been younger, or maybe still human. "What time was it?" He asked her, trying to take his mind off her sitting so close to him.
"11:30." She answered, her voice muffled because of her face pressed against his arm. She nuzzled into him again, a contented sigh escaping her lips.
He took a deep breath and gazed out into the mountains beyond the McBride farm and then up into the stars. Keeping his mind off her had become a full-time job, one he hated. She's just a kid. He told himself. She was young enough to be his great-great granddaughter or something and much of the time he felt that if he had ever had the chance to have children she was something like what he might have wished for. Still, even when he tried to focus on her being like family it just made those feelings seem even more wrong.
She must have felt the minute movement of his body because she lifted her head and regarded him questioningly. "What are you thinking about?"
"It's a beautiful night, don't you think?"
It was that smile again. It never really disappeared, just dimmed or brightened depending upon the situation. Very rarely did it ever truly drop from her face completely. Those times were always bad, sorrowful times. No one liked to see that, not him, not Boone, not Cass, or Arcade. If something was bad enough to make her stop smiling then it was tragic. It had been the look that had been on her face when she'd come back from the Legion's stronghold and informed them that Benny was dead. She'd tried to save him despite everything, had even untied him and they'd both broken from Caesar's tent only to be surrounded halfway to the exit. Benny had helped her fight, and in the end threw himself in front of an attack to protect her. The Courier inspired loyalty like that Raul realized. She never asked it of people, but it was always given to her freely.
The next week she had spent in a smile-less stupor, even resorting to drinking excessively. It had been one night when she had drank way too much and had almost put herself in an alcohol-induced coma that Raul had been the one to bring the smile back. They had set alone on top of a building in Freeside so she could get some air after being sick and passing out in the Atomic Wrangler. Then she had begun to cry, talking about how she blamed herself and how she was so afraid that everyone around her was going to end up just like Benny, who she admitted that she had started to like a little bit. He couldn't remember everything he had said, but he had promised her that no matter what he would always be there beside her. "I will never leave you." It had been a big promise to give, especially knowing that if the situation presented itself he would do as Benny did and give his life to protect hers. He had lived long enough, but she still had so much left to give.
"It's a perfect night to hunt a goat-sucker." She replied, cracking a mischievous grin. He could see the twinkle in her eyes just beneath the brim of her cowboy hat.
He chuckled and placed one arm around her shoulder, drawing her close for a brief hug. Well, at least he intended it to be brief. She slipped both arms around him and laid her head on his chest. The Courier was the kind of person who could potentially make some people uncomfortable, for her embraces lasted a few fractions longer than normal individuals, probably because when she did touch someone or hold them she drew it out like she was taking it in, memorizing that moment into the file cabinets of her brain. People were important to her. It had only been ten seconds max, but to him it had felt like an eternity. He hoped she could not feel the frantic beating of his heart against his ribcage.
"I – I think I see something." She narrowed her eyes into the distance suddenly, rising to her feet. Her hand twitched toward her gun, but outside of that remained very still. After a fifteen second pause and deliberation she looked down at him and suggested that they circle around behind some of the large boulders that littered the area and meet in the middle in case there was something roaming around. It might be dangerous to split up but she was so adamant about her plan that he nodded and got to his feet, too.
Once he was out there alone he realized the pointlessness of searching for an invisible creature in the dark. Of course, that was implying that No-Bark actually had some Bark and the dreaded Brahmin eating chupucabra existed, which he seriously doubted. After examining the animals both he and his Courier had determined the wounds were made by a high-caliber weapon, and from the description that No-Bark gave it sounded like a minigun. So I'm out here looking for a chupucabra with a minigun… He thought to himself. By myself. Because she asked me to.
Maybe it would have been different if the night weren't weaving itself into one of its creepier forms. Sometimes the dark was like a black shroud that made them felt wrapped in safety, other nights he noticed a shift in the air that could make any sane and logical man start believing in horror stories. The pressure changed and the wind would whisper through the rocks and scraggly bushes like the voices of a long-dead world. Ghost footsteps would echo across the expanse of the Mojave and even the irradiated creatures, so fearsome, would seem to disappear as if scattered by an invisible terrifying presence.
Raul was coming up on the position they'd agreed to meet at, and he was glad for it. Creepy wasteland aside there really was a threat that would be dangerous quite soon and it would be better if they faced it together. Especially if it was a minigun toting psychopath who enjoyed mutilating cattle in the middle of the night. He had tried to figure out the situation more than once and the entire thing seemed a bit crazy. If someone wanted to really kill all of the McBride's livestock why didn't they just mow down all of them in one go. It wasn't like they were wearing armor or could defend themselves.
When he came into the little spot she was supposed to be he froze, noticing her hat sitting on a rock and her shotgun propped up against it. She never left her gun just sitting around. It was her baby, a baby she'd spent countless hours modding and cleaning and polishing. He called out her name, softly. There was no answer and the wind whined passed his ears, drowning out all other sounds to the point where he had to turn his head to alleviate it. At that moment he saw it, an outline on the night sky, silhouetted upon the moon. It was a shadow backed by shadows.
Before he could even move it had leapt on him, the momentum from the jump carrying them both to the ground and almost knocking the breath out of his lungs. "I am the blood-sucking chupucabra!" Said the Courier Imp. "And I will be your doom."
The Courier Imp was the name he called his companion's other personality, the one that came out in her more mischievous and troublemaking moods. It was the prankster and a terror, and for some reason the Imp came out almost solely around Raul. She'd played a few tricks on some of the others, sure, but her best ones were reserved for him and him alone. He had started to worry about her state of mind, especially when Boone had told him that the Imp didn't exist until he had come along. "I don't know what the hell kind of switch got turned on in there," Boone had growled with annoyance one day, "but if we don't turn it off soon…" He had never finished that sentence, mostly because Boone would never actually do anything to harm the Courier, Imp side or not.
The Courier had put on one of the fiend helmets she'd had in her bag, likely remembering No-Bark's description of the curving horns he'd seen on his so-called Chupucabra. She'd also put on the spiked shoulder pieces to one of her outfits, making them seem broader and less feminine. Almost immediately he could hear her tinkling laughter as he looked up at her with something akin to horror sliding into surprise. His brain had already realized it was her, but the expression on his face still needed a few seconds to adjust. She continued to laugh as she pulled off the helmet and tossed it beside her hat and gun.
He opened his mouth to say something to her, perhaps chide her choice of tricks given the situation, but the words were suddenly stolen from him, as was his breath when she grabbed his hands and pinned them to his sides, her head dripping to the crook in his neck. Her teeth scrapped against his throat, tested once or twice, and then she bit down. It wasn't hard enough to draw blood, definitely not hard enough to hurt, but it was hard enough to get a reaction out of him and that reaction made his entire body tense. She really needed to stop.
He said her name again, trying to get her attention. It didn't work, either because she was too intent on enacting her chupucabra fantasy (was this still part of her prank?) or because it had come out more a gasping whisper than an actual word?
The realization that she wasn't just biting him was the worst. He could feel the soft caress of her lips on his skin mixing with the rough pressure of her nips. Added with the frantic knowledge that she was straddling his waist was beginning to blow this whole thing into a crisis. He hadn't spent weeks, hell months, pretending he felt nothing more than friendship for her for a mere practical joke to go and ruin it. The idea of facing her once she saw that his mind strayed beyond the territory of innocence every so often concerning her was not a pleasant one. They made a good team and he didn't want it destroyed by awkwardness.
God, but it was torture not to be able to tell her that he was enjoying the way her fingers were wrapped around his wrists, and the sensation of her skin brushing against his so soft and smooth, and always so pale. No matter how long they stayed out in the sun she never tanned, but rather burned, so that's why they traveled mostly at night. The ironic thought that maybe his Courier was actually really a vampire passed through his mind. The canines he felt digging into him weren't helping his logic dismiss that away either. He tried to roll her off him so that he could laugh it all off and tell her she was funny. They could move on after that and go about catching the McBride's mystery Brahmin killer. No harm done.
The Courier did not like this and her teeth bit down harder on his shoulder, eliciting a small cry that rumbled from his chest. For an instant he could swear he heard a purr of satisfaction as her mouth traveled back up his neck to kiss the line of his jaw. This he could not explain away as a prank. She was kissing his skin now, not just biting like some deranged blood-sucking beast, and he could feel her smiling. Between them he felt the familiar stir of arousal, and in her never miss a thing style, the Courier noticed it, too. She rocked her hips just slightly and grinded down against him as her lips found his earlobe and began to nip and suck, eventually gliding her tongue all the way up the shell of his ear.
He was actually cursing out loud now. "I think we need to stop."
"Why?" She asked. The pang that rolled through him at that one innocent sounding word was amazingly powerful. She said it like what was happening wasn't strange at all. "Do you not like it?" Her dark eyes found his and studied them, almost bore straight into his soul as they searched for any sign as to why he was asking her to stop. Then that smirk was back on her face, stronger than ever, and that purr he'd heard earlier made a reappearance, "because I think you like it." She grinded against him again, but this time more slowly. He felt her hands release his wrists and start a pathway down his arms and then across his shoulders. Finally the palms of her hands came to rest on either side of his face and she lowered her mouth to his.
Sweet bliss had only been words until that moment. Heaven had been residing in a raven-haired wanderer all along and was released by the cool press of her skin, the urgency to which her lips crashed down to conquer his, and then the soft velvety stroke of her tongue as it slipped passed all defenses to dance with his. He groaned, hands snaking down from her shoulders and across her back until they reached her hips. When was the last time he had felt anything close to this? The fact he couldn't remember made the whole thing bittersweet, but not unwelcome.
In one swift movement they had changed positions and she was beneath him looking up with a hunger in her eyes he thought impossible until that moment. She reached up and tugged loose the twine that held back her hair and let it fall against the ground, fanning out around her face and contrasting her features so that they were illuminated more sharply in the moonlight above. Beautiful. So goddamned beautiful. The blush that came upon her face meant he had been whispering aloud again, but this time he didn't care.
He positioned himself between her thighs and bent to kiss her again, a ferocious need clutching him. Hands roughly grabbed her knees and pulled them apart so that he could fully press against her. Her eyes widened and then closed, drifting into her own state of pleasure as she felt the hardening evidence of his want for her. Each delicious pass over her body sent tingles of anticipation and made her hate the fabric that was preventing her from completely touching skin to skin. A calloused hand pushed under her shirt, fingers caressing up her stomach, brushing along the curve of her breasts, and then his thumb circling one of her nipples, once, twice, three times before taking it between his fingers and pinching. It was gentle at first, testing. When she moaned her approval he did it harder until he was twisting, pulling forth a cry of ecstasy from her lips. He repeated it with the other one as he lowered his head to brush his lips across the previous, and even through her shirt the softer sensation was affecting her in ways no other man had ever been able to.
The Courier was not one to beg, but she was begging now, her breath coming in soft pants. She was asking him to make love to her. "I can't take it anymore." She moaned, "Just please, please, please…" She couldn't even form a coherent request. The frightening thought passed Raul's mind for just an instant that maybe this was all a dream and some unnamed faceless enemy had really knocked him out, and while he was unconscious he was acing out his own personal fantasy regarding his companion. Yet as her hand slid between them to massage the aching bulge in his pants that fear was dissolved. This wasn't a fantasy; it was reality.
A few seconds later he almost wished it was a fantasy, because when you were making things up they went the way you wanted them to. Unfortunately reality was never so kind and tended to make a mess out of the most beautiful moments. In the distance, back toward the McBride's homestead, the sound of startled Brahmin could be heard drifting through the air. Something was spooking them, and being closed up in their pen they were helpless.
The Courier's eyes snapped open and glanced at her pip boy, a curse immediately flying from her lips. "Its 12:13!" She cried.
Murder was not quite the word he would use for what he was going to do to the McBride's Brahmin killer. Raul gritted his teeth, almost entertaining the idea of saying fuck it and pinning her down anyway, but knew she'd never let him forget it. Reluctantly he untangled himself from her and stood up, reaching down a hand to pull her up as well. Almost as if what had happened between them hadn't she was rushing over to throw her hat on her head and grasping her shotgun, a different hungry glint in her eye. This one was her love for combat.
Well, at least somebody was going to get some action tonight.
By the time he caught up with her she was already in the middle of a one on one battle with a nightkin. Its stealth boy had already been deactivated and now he was roaring with irritation while he tried to get a good angle on his prey, but the Courier was fast and the nightkin was big and bulky. The girl leveled a shot at her opponent and a 20 gauge round slammed into its shoulder. It turned and tried to run, but Raul was in its way, guns aimed straight at the beast. He was really, really, really starting to hate nightkin.
The two made short work of the marauding nightkin. It was kind of sad really how expert they were at taking super mutants down. When they were finished the Courier checked the corpse for anything useful or an explanation to its odd behavior, not that nightkin needed a reason to be odd. As she stood she leveled a look on him and he knew what she was thinking.
"Don't worry about it." He told her.
"But… if I had know, I'm sorry that—"
He waved his hand at her. "I said don't worry about it, all right. Go tell McBride you've taken care of his problem. I'll be back in our room."
For a few moments she looked like she was going to protest but then dropped her eyes and nodded. Without another word they split off, each going to their destinations.
"Raaaaauuul." The door to their shared motel room swung open and he could hear the Courier's smooth voice as she called his name with a playful sweep. He was laying on one of the beds, his hands under his head as he considered everything that had happened that night. "I brought booze." She held up two shot glasses and a bottle of vodka, lips curling into that mischievous grin of hers. Bless her, she was attempting to make a peace offering for earlier, wasn't she?
He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed so she could sit down beside him. Now more than ever he was aware of her presence so close to his, and when her hand brushed his as she passed him the glass he wasn't the only one who stiffened. She poured the first round and they downed it before she continued on. As she poured the second she asked, "so are we going to talk about what happened?"
"Talk about what?" He asked, and then threw back the second shot.
"I guess that's a no then." The Courier replied, one of her fingers absently tapping the glass in her hand. After a moment she, too, tilted back her head and finished it in one gulp. The two sat in complete silence. For the first time they met it was an uncomfortable one. Minds grasped desperately for something to say, anything to take their thoughts away from their interrupted passion.
The worst of it was Raul wasn't sure if it had been a mistake or not. Had the Courier been planning it that way from the beginning or was it just something that happened? If it was the latter then he was glad they had been interrupted. It was best that they didn't go further if it was a spur of the moment encounter. He had enjoyed her touch and would be a liar if he said he didn't want more of it, but it just wasn't worth losing her over if she had no interest in him. It was another reason for his insistence to not even talk about it. If they talked about it they would have to face it.
"I just want to know if you're mad at me." The girl finally turned to him. Tears shimmered in her eyes.
Her words surprised him. Mad was the very last thing on his mind, unless you counted his feelings towards the dead nightkin. He answered her, his voice lowering to a gentle cadence, "Boss, I could never be angry with you." His knuckles brushed her cheek, wiping away a stray tear that had escaped.
The Courier clung to him, head buried in his chest for the second time that night, hands clenching the back of his jumpsuit like he was the only stable thing in this world. Maybe he was for her. It was hard to believe with everyone around her, but she tended to gravitate to him more and he didn't know the reason for that. Regardless he felt the undeniable urge to protect and shelter her, love her. It didn't matter if she felt the same way or not, or if their encounter behind the McBride farm has been an accident, he'd made a promise and he was going to keep it. His place was beside her, until the day one of them died.
He shushed her, arms wrapping her tightly against him. They stayed like that for a very long time, at first her body trembling with her tears and then she quieted and just leaned against him, a few sniffles here and there. When her fingers came loose and slipped down his back he tilted his head down to look at her and found her asleep. Instead of carrying her over to her bed he just moved over and lowered her down onto the mattress. As he tried to stand up her fingers curled around his arm again. At first he thought that she had awakened, however it seemed that her insecurities were shining through even in slumber.
It had been a long time since he had felt needed, or even wanted. Long before his capture and imprisonment with Tabitha he had been wasting away, lost in the desolation the wasteland wrought upon its survivors. He had been a wanderer, a cursed one that knew that unless he put a bullet through his own skull or allowed some enemy to kill him he would continue to just exist. Perhaps that was why he tended to test Tabitha and the other nightkins' patience at Black Mountain. Then she had come and somehow managed to run his captors off.
"So I guess I'll just go then… on my own… alone…" He had said and he hadn't meant for his tone to fill with such loneliness but maybe his subconscious was making a decision for him and had taken control of his thought process. Deep inside he had been pleading for something to end, whether it be his life or the path he had been on. She answered his pleas.
The Courier hadn't asked him along in pity either. She seemed truly happy to have found someone who could fix her and her friends' stuff and after they had begun to travel had noticed how well he could use the guns at his side. Yet she never pried into his past, though he could see the gentle questions in her eyes. Who are you, Raul? And one day he would tell her because he wanted her to know. He needed her to know.
Her hair was soft beneath his fingers as he stroked it, reassuring the sleeping girl that she was not alone and that he was here. She had seemed so strong when they'd first met, confidence radiating from her very being. Everywhere she went people looked up to her, idolized her. She was a hero. But he knew that was a façade. Underneath the shining mask of perfection laid a maze of doubt and insecurity. Until tonight he had always thought that he had needed her more than she had needed him, but she proved him wrong. Inside they were one, he and his courier.
The rest of the night he would sit with her and watch her sleep. The next morning Boone would inform them that he was ready to go and he and the girl would pretend everything was okay, was normal. They would laugh through breakfast and get an early start back to the Strip. It would be quite a while before the pair would speak of their feelings again, mostly because the most frightening (and sad) thing for people like them, people who had grown set in their ways, was not loneliness but change.
First of all I would like to apologize to Raul for the cock-blocking nightkin. I will make it up to him in part 2 and hopefully he and the insofar unnamed courier can knock some sense into one another. Hope you liked.
Review please. This is the first story I've ever posted that has ever had any content like this. I would love to know if you liked or didn't like for whatever reasons. Thank you.