AN: Thanks to those of you who've read and taken the time to review - I appreciate it. Hope you enjoyed the final installment. Hopefully it doesn't feel too rushed/forced. Remember - this is a kink meme fill so it will be basically total smut ;)

The Distance Apart

Something inside of her snapped into place when she heard him. When she saw him after all that time. She hadn't even realized she'd been broken until they were here, standing on this damn bridge and she finally realized she felt whole.

And it all made sense. The way she couldn't sleep at night. Why she didn't give a damn about any of the guys she brought home. The dreams she'd have about him. How lonely she'd been. Of course it'd been like that. He hadn't been there.

Maybe her mind wouldn't let her realize it, catch up to what her body obviously knew, while he was gone. It was protecting her from mourning a love that would never come back. But he was here goddamnit. Only a few feet between them and it made it so easy to understand the past year and a half's feelings…

Something about seeing her there triggered his "fight or flight" instincts. And no one was as surprised as him when it triggered the latter. It was too much of a shock to his system. He couldn't handle it. He wasn't equipped with the emotional capacity for a heartfelt reunion or an effective portrayal of disinterest. So before either could recover, he abruptly turned around and started walking off the bridge, praying that she would let him go.

He only made it about five feet before her heard her following.


Fuck! She thought as she snapped to attention and ran after him. Goddamn him and his long stride…

"Charon!" she yelled as he began to pull away from her. She would not be able to forgive herself if she let him walk away from her again. "Please, stop!" She thought he'd say something snarky about the contract being broken and not needing to listen to her. But he just picked up the pace, just short of a jog now. It crossed her mind that she might have to shoot him in the leg to get him to stay put. Not exactly Plan A.

"Please!" she nearly sobbed as he rounded a corner and briefly disappeared behind an upturned truck.

She was not prepared for the six plus feet of solid ghoul she ran into as she followed.

"Oof!" she said as she bounced back a little and fell flat on her ass. "Damnit, Charon, what the fuck!"

As she glared up at him, he tried not to smile down at her. Same dirty mouth. Same attitude. It was ridiculous that she could go from begging him to stay one second, to yelling at him the next. Though this mood swing was not unprecedented, he thought bitterly.

He'd only stopped because he'd hated the desperate note her voice took. Why he should care about hurting her feelings, he had no idea, but he did all the same.

While she got up and dusted herself off – he couldn't help but notice (and appreciate) that she'd filled out a little in the chest and hips (guess Vaulties were late bloomers) – he took the time to steel himself. He found any stray emotion that had to do with her, whether it be positive or negative, and locked it up in the corner of his mind. This was just a run-in with his former employer. He needed to be passive and unmoved by whatever she had to say.

Stopping to talk was just a fluke, the only display of emotion he would allow.

So when she finally met his eyes again, there was a hardness to them that she hadn't seen since they'd first met at the Ninth Circle. Oh god, what if it's too late? But she dismissed the biting thought. She would follow him wherever he went and never let him out of her sight if that's what it took.

"What?" he barked when she just continued to stare, an unreadable expression on her (pretty) face. She winced at his tone and he pretended not to see. But as his eyes swept down, away from her eyes, he couldn't help but see the rest of her. Try as he might to convince himself that he was merely checking to make sure she was alright – that the super mutants or the Enclave or some other assholes hadn't permanently left a mark on her – he couldn't help resting his eyes on parts of her he'd never noticed before. Damnit, why couldn't it have been a guy he'd rescued on the bridge?

"I just…" He wouldn't look her in the eye, and she hated that. He'd never avoided her gaze when they'd worked together before. It was just a harsh reminder that, technically, they'd never worked together. He'd worked for her.

And don't forget, you fired him. What the fuck were you thinking? But Charon didn't seem any worse for wear. Maybe his belt was a little tighter and his armor a tad looser, but it'd been so long that she couldn't really say that with any certainty. Looks like he got along just fine without you…

When he'd had enough of her just standing there, looking so lost, he sparred her the awkwardness of having to finish her sentence. "If you don't have anything to say, I've got places to be."

That brought her attention back. He was being so… cold to her. Not that he was actually Mr. Sunshine and Rainbows beforehand, but still. They were… sort of friends, right? They had been at least. Once upon a time, in their own weird little way. Couldn't he offer her more than this?

She felt she had two choices right now if she wanted him to talk to her. She could beg and plead and hope to god he cared enough to listen. But Charon wasn't the type of man who gave in to pity. He respected strength. It would make him more nervous and uncomfortable if she started crying (which she probably would do if she let herself). But there was another choice before her. She could make him angry. Fire up some emotion, some sort of reaction to her. Honestly, that could backfire too. Make him say "Fuck this damn vault kid" and walk away forever. But she felt it was probably her best chance.

"Charon, where the fuck could you possibly have to be?"

He starred at her like she'd grown a second head. The words "mood swing" came to mind. No trace of any sobs now. "Excuse me?"

"Oh come on, you heard me. You were never stupid or deaf. Where the hell do you need to be? Last I checked, no one gave a shit about ghouls enough to actually expect one to come visit them."

She could see it was working. He might not be one to lose his temper, but she was slowly getting a rise out of him. Whatever he'd done to shield himself from her, to protect his real feelings about all this, he hadn't thought to keep his anger at bay.

"Maybe I just don't want to be near you, smoothskin." His tone was surprisingly neutral, probably because it was half true.

"Why the hell not?" She already knew the answer before the words even left her mouth.

"Why the hell not?" he demanded. No, nearly shouted. He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. If it weren't for her armor, he'd probably be bruising her right now. That just made him squeeze her harder, wanting to mark her the way she'd marked him. "Why the hell not? You fired me! Fired me!"

He was uncomfortably close. He'd never been that close to her before. She could smell the gunpowder on his armor and a musky, masculine scent that filled her nose and her being and made her want to tremble. She could feel the heat of his hands as they pressed into her. God did she want him.

"I tried to take it back!" Did she just lean into his grip? "I didn't want you to leave!" She could feel the fight going out of her. Of course he was right. She'd felt like shit about that for longer than she could stomach.

"Well maybe it's too damn late to be sorry about that." He didn't recognize the tone in his voice or the way his body was reacting to her proximity. Why were his hands moving? Why was one working its way down her back and the other behind her neck? Why did he want to bite her trembling lips and feel her writing beneath him- He almost moaned at the very idea of it.

He hadn't been this close to a woman (by choice) since he was a teenager, awkwardly fumbling with the buckle of his belt as one of the girls from his neighborhood teasingly pulled off her shirt and skirt in front of him. And here was this vault kid, not even trying to get him hard and he wanted nothing more than to lay claim to her.

God. Damn. This. Woman.

"...Is it too late?" She leaned forward, neck tilted back to make eye contact. She had to dance on her tip toes just to get this close, took advantage of his grip to keep herself steady.

"Of course it's too late." Their lips were nearly touching. Another inch and the edges would graze each other. Why was he letting her get this close? "It's been over a year. So I'd say it's over a year too late."

"But what if I am sorry?" she whispered. Her voice was quivering and she thought she might start shaking. She was hyper aware of where his hands were slowly burning holes through her soul. Held her breath as he brushed some stray hairs away from her eyes with his thumb. He didn't even seem to notice.

"Hmph," he snorted and she heard the challenge behind it. He was saying "Prove it."

With the other men she'd been with, they always took it slow. Gently kissed her and took their time working her up. Treated her like she was fragile. The delicate Lone Wanderer, raised in a Vault and needing to be looked after.

Those other men could all go to hell.

She threw herself against his body, hips first, arms flying around his neck and pulling him crashing to her lips. She took advantage of his surprised gasp and thrust her tongue inside his mouth and licked the edges of his teeth. He hesitated – she hoped from shock and not from disgust – but then drew her closer.

Charon kissed her back but let her lead. He might have fucked some of his employers under the will of the contract, yet it had always lacked the intimacy and intensity of this. This was something else entirely. Kissing? While he enjoyed feeling her pressed against his ruined lips and exploring his mouth, he could think of any number of things he'd rather be doing to her.

Tentatively, he edged his hands closer to the hem of her pants but left them hovering there. He only hesitated because he had no fucking idea why they were doing this. She was the goddamn hero of the Wastes. A long time ago he'd finally admitted to himself that she was pretty. Beautiful even. There was no way to deny it when every other male they'd come across bent over backwards to help her. Even now he could barely admit that he'd missed her, needed her a lot more than he'd first suspected. So of course it was no surprise his body would betray him and want to fuck her. But what the hell could she want with him?

But even as his mind struggled over the decision to proceed, his hands knew what to do. He was pulling down her armored pants, vaguely missing her old vault suit (it at least would have been a lot easier to take off), enjoying the smoothness of her ass and thighs as his hands slid across them. She was everything he wasn't, fresh flesh and voluptuous curves that hid the muscle beneath. It made his feelings of inadequacy in comparison to this wonder of the Wastes (how anything like her could come out of a shit world like this he would never know) all the more apparent.

As he turned his attention away from his angst and awe, ignored how painfully tight his own armor was becoming and brought her hips up to meet his, teasing her as he rubbed his erection against her clit. If he couldn't equal her spirit, he could at least worship her body.

She broke the kiss to moan and tighten her grip on his neck. "Charon… more… please…"

He felt a tingle go down his spine. More? He could definitely give her more.

Self-consciously, he started pulling down his own pants. As caught up as they were in the moment, nothing was a mood-killer for the average person than the thought of sleeping with a ghoul. She was all sweet words and tolerance in Underworld, might be able to stomach kissing him… but that didn't necessarily mean she'd want his cock inside her.

She kissed him again, enjoying how right this felt, but noticed his apprehension. He was nervous about something. Second thoughts about doing this with her of all people? She pushed her forehead against his and rubbed slow circles in the back of his neck, trying to calm him down and waiting. Because yes, after nearly two years she could wait a little bit longer.

She'd never truly felt a ghoul's skin before, and she relished the opportunity to do so now. The remaining skin was surprisingly smooth, and the exposed muscle was taut and firm. She hoped the rest of his body – she especially craved to see his bare and no doubt perfectly sculpted chest – was like this. Missing skin and exposed flesh might freak some people out, but this was Charon. She'd accept him even if he had a gaping hole through his torso. All that physical need and longing she'd been transferring to other people had finally find the right outlet.

His rough legs were rubbing against hers, sending chills through her, but all he felt was a severe lacking. She could do better. She deserved better. She was confused, mixing up guilt and surprise with lust and desire. But the way she was looking at him…

He slammed her against the truck and lifted her so their hips were aligned. Never one for foreplay, he tilted her just enough to thrust in without opposition.

She was warm and tight, but even after who knows how many years since the last time, he could tell she wasn't a virgin (and he damn well knew she was one when she'd wandered out of the vault). She didn't wince or cry out as he took her maidenhood away from he. Her hips meet his thrusts too eagerly. The little minx had done this before and knew how to get what she wanted out of it. And it boiled his blood to think that someone – some punk shithead from Rivet City or Megaton or the Brotherhood – had touched her. Had taken what was by all rights his.

The growl that escaped his lips was almost feral as he imagined someone else inside of her. But he was here now and he was going to make damn sure she didn't forget him anytime soon.

"I hate you," he grunted as he continued to move in and out, each word accented with a deep thrust.

"Shut... up..." Of all the things she didn't want to hear while he fucked her...

"I really fucking hate you," he repeated. "You fired me. Watched me walk away. The memory of you haunted me." You took someone else to your bed while I sat alone in the middle of nowhere trying not to think about you.

"Then... stop... fucking me... you asshole..." It was the worst bluff he'd ever heard. Not that he'd ever call her on it.

Her left leg went up around his waist and the other tried to find purchase against the truck, the tips of her toes occasionally grazing the asphalt. Each stroke was unexpected and deep. Rubbed against her in ways that made her melt. She didn't even bother comparing him to the others. The way he had her mewling made it clear there'd never been any competition.

"Tell me you're mine," he growled and thrust a little harder than before.

"Fuck you," she laughed, and pulled him in again with her leg to prove her point.

But this time he stopped altogether, too deep inside for her to do anything. "Say it." She tried to buck against him but he wouldn't have any of it. If he'd been anyone else, he was sure he'd be dead in the next few seconds. Hell, he still might be. But then she glared at him and sucked in a malicious breath.


Any part of her that hated herself for saying it immediately gave way when he started fucking her with renewed vigor. "I know."

He wanted to see more of her. Taste her perky breasts, lick up the trails of sweat running down her neck and lap up her juices. He wanted to enjoy every part of her undoubtedly perfect body while he ravaged her again and again and had her screaming his name til her throat was raw. But they were both so desperate right now that he knew there was no time for that.

Next time. And he would make sure there definitely was a next time.

This was completely new to her. She'd never felt an orgasm build with this much intensity before. The way it traveled up her navel and spread like fire. She could feel her face flush and as he fucked her closer into oblivion, more and more of her was going numb to anything but the pleasure between her legs. She was perfectly aware that she was alternating between screaming his name and screaming nothing at all. Sometimes she opened her mouth to cry out and couldn't find a single sound to articulate what she was feeling. Whatever he was doing to her just growing and growing inside of her and it would absolutely kill her if it didn't find a release soon.

In the end, it was the way he moaned "Mistress" against her neck that set her spiraling off the mountain of ecstasy he'd created for her.

With a final shriek he felt her internal muscles clench around him, tearing a mind-blowing climax from him.

They slid to the ground. The sun was setting behind the truck and all they could hear was their ragged panting and the occasional curse.

When her heart had calmed down enough, she rolled her hips slightly into him (and smiled at the noise he made) and asked, "So… 'Mistress,' huh?"

"Shut up."

She laughed and slammed her lips against his, her suggestive rocking starting to have its intended effect. As they started again, a little slower this time, she couldn't help but think that maybe the distance apart had been good for them.

His content growls seconded that.