AN: Apologies to anyone still following this story. I've had this portion written for a while, but had delayed posting it since this was never meant to be the end of this chapter. However, as it looks more and more likely that I won't even finish the story, I felt I should at least post it. Unfortunately I have not been able to come up with a suitable ending as of yet, but if I do, I'll be sure to write it.
That being said, I do want to address one of the reviews for the previous chapter. Someone had anonymously posted that they "hate women like my LW." While I don't agree or disagree with your opinion, I find it in poor taste. This is a fill for the kink meme, as stated in the first chapter, meaning someone had posted a request for a character like this. Any criticisms about the prompt itself are against the spirit of the kink meme. While I realize this is in fact not the meme, I still find it somewhat rude and disrespectful to the anon who posted the prompt. I am not offended by comments made about how I choose to write, and in fact encourage people to criticize since I find it quite helpful, but I am offended about the negativity addressed towards the prompt. Granted, the details of the prompt were not included in the first chapter, but the phrasing of the review irked me more than the comments themselves. Apologies for the rant.
She flattered herself by thinking she was a reasonable, forgiving person. A scientist's daughter, a girl who could look objectively at a situation and make an unbiased decision.
But it burned her something fierce to think of that night with Charon.
There was no logic behind her anger. She'd gotten what she'd wanted from him, more or less. Why she'd expect a guy like Charon to be into the post-coital cuddling was beyond her. He'd technically done nothing wrong.
Didn't make her any let pissed at him.
It was probably the way he avoided looking her in the eye after that. He was quieter than usual. You'd think getting laid in the first time in god knew how long would relax the bastard, but he seemed more high strung than usual.
What the hell? Fucking was supposed to be easy. Why'd he have to change that?
She knew they should probably talk about it. Which was probably why she went out of her way not to. Instead she tried provoking him. But nothing she did got a reaction out of him. Not when she bathed half-naked in a nearby stream. Not when she accidentally bumped into him, unnecessarily pushing her breasts into him. Not a single of her most seductive smiles could get his attention. He just continued to brood, at most looking away from her uncomfortably, but usually ignoring her thinly veiled advances.
And as she sipped her way through her second whiskey of the night, barely listening to Gob and Nova, she remembered the only thing she ever did that always got Charon's attention.
She was worried she'd have to settle for Jericho, when Leo happened to walk in. Good ol' predictable Leo Stahl. A drink and a hit would be enough to loosen him up.
"Don't wait up," she laughs as she slaps Charon's shoulder on their way out. The look of absolute and unbridled jealousy he shoots them is more than enough to outweigh having to sleep with Leo again.
She sees it in his eyes when she comes back home late (or maybe it was early), a drunken swagger to her step. Sees that he wants to throw her against the nearest wall and shout at her. Scream at her to stop doing this to him.
But she finds herself surprisingly disappointed when he doesn't. When he just glares at her a moment before turning away. Hears him angrily kick the wall once she's closed herself off in her room.
So she does it again. Billy Creel the next night, and she thinks maybe this time Charon will just say whatever the fuck it is he wants to say. But of course he doesn't.
Business takes them out of Megaton, but that hardly means anything. Plenty of men out there, all of them easy targets for a girl like her…
And then it happened.
She'd ditched Charon with Bittercup and the other citizens of Big Town. As usual when she checked on them – something she enjoyed, because they were the only people in the Wastes more sheltered than she was - she stole Dusty away from his guard duties. There was just something about getting a guy to abandon his post that got her all hot and bothered.
Dusty was the only guy in Big Town that was halfway experienced, and every time she visited she happily helped him get a little practice in. Enthusiastically.
And she was just as in enthusiastic in her encouragement right now, licking his ear and moaning shamelessly. Which only made him go faster. She shifted her legs slightly and begged him to be rougher. He wordlessly obliged.
Normally she was so good at keeping her lovers distinct in her mind. It was so easy to forget one while in the arms of another. But as her gut clenched and then deliciously released in waves of pleasure, it was with a strangled gasp of "Charon."
If Dusty was offended or surprised, he pretended not to be. Add that to the list in his favor.
When she went to grab Charon, she nodded uneasily in greeting, not sure how she felt about what had just happened. Didn't know what it meant. Didn't want to know. "Let's go."
Charon wasn't one to question orders. They both knew it was just his surprise. They had planned on spending the night here, after all. That didn't save him from a sour look. He shrugged and complied, knowing her moods well enough to not bother.
They walked in silence through the pitch black, Charon on edge and keeping watch for Super Mutants. Oblivious to anything but the ghoul walking a few feet behind her, she found herself wound up for completely different reasons.
Hours of musing only made one thing clear to her. She didn't know what she wanted from Charon, but she knew she wanted something.
Now she just had to figure out what it was so she could get it out of him.
Days later, just the two of them wandering (har har), and she still couldn't make any sense of the situation. There was just the sunburn starting to grow on her cheeks, the blisters forming on her toes, and a scorching thirst that never left. And she was starting to get horny. Talk about a distraction.
She'd considered cornering Charon again, but thinking of him walking away got her riled up in all the wrong ways. The gall of that ghoul, thinking he could fuck her good and then act like he was goddamned ashamed of it-
"Oof!" She's about to fall on her ass but Charon's annoyingly strong grip keeps her level. "What the fu-" she lets her indignation die when she notices the poor guy she walked into. Boy, was he a looker. She must have been really out of it to not notice him walk by.
"Sorry about that, ma'am," he says, tipping his hat to her once he's caught his balance.
A pleased blush starts to spread, or at least it would if it weren't for that goddamn burn. Polite and cute. Damned if he wasn't going to push all her buttons… "Don't even, it was my fault," she manages, that perfectly practiced smile, the one she saves for just this sort of thing, the one that screams innocent but mischievous, lighting her face.
She feels Charon tense behind her, and that just spurs her on. She forces the right words out, giggles at the right times, sways her hips and bite the back of her thumb as she shamelessly flirts with this handsome Scavenger. Totally driven by her own desires, that mix of directionless lust and acute desire to annoy Charon. Make his stomach churn and his heart pound until he's more confused and fucked up than she's felt the last couple days.
She spares a coy smile to him as she leads the Scavenger (God, what was his name again? John? Joe? Jason? Did it even start with a J? Fuck it all, it doesn't really matter.) to a nearby truck. Leaves that poor ghoul to sit and think about what they're doing in the back seat. She's loud on purpose, wanting to burn the sound into that ass' brain.
The Scavenger leaves the truck first. She's not in a hurry. The Wastes aren't going anywhere. Unfortunately. Tidies herself up. Even with no one around, "disheveled" is hardly a good look.
There's a distinctive bounce in her step as she makes her way back to Charon. She sees the Scavenger there, picking up his pack, and ignores her growing annoyance with the poor man.
We're through here, honey. Move along now.
His back's to her and she's halfway through hoping he'll just walk away before she gets there, when out of nowhere comes Charon's left hook into the guy's face. She's both mortified and sickened when he immediately goes down (One fucking punch? Are you kidding me?). But she's screaming at Charon to stop, sprinting the last fifty feet.
"CHARON!" she hisses, too out of breath to conjure up anything more scathing at the moment, and helps the man up.
"Crazy, ghoul fuck!" the guy yells, still not quite on his feet. She's trying to apologize but the guy will have none of it. He shrugs out of her grasp. He's off and makes sure to give them the finger, though not until he's a safe enough distance away.
She stares, gaping in utter shock after the man. She's not exactly sorry to see him go. Wasn't bad on the eyes but apparently he's a total pussy. But that stopped being the issue as soon as Charon took a swing.
"What the FUCK was that about?" she snaps. She knows he knows what the look in her eyes means. She knows he sees her hand twitch over her pistol.
"He deserved it." That's it. The only explanation he volunteers. As if that explains everything.
Her hands snap to her hips, glaring up at him. She feels her foot tapping impatiently. Her voice every bit accusatory as she all but spits, "And what exactly did he do?"
"He said-" but then he hesitates. Thinks better of whatever he's about to say. "I just didn't like the look of him."
She's never seen him like this. He's clearly agitated, clearly embarrassed, but looks at her defiantly. A long moment of consideration before she asks, "What'd he say?"
"He didn't say anything." Too much emphasis on his words. How the fuck could he be such a terrible liar? And he seems to know it, because he adds, "He just looked like a fucking tool," for good measure.
A strange feeling washes over her. Almost like a shot of liquor, burning and painful but warm. Did he just fight for her honor? The idea seems absurd. Could Charon, shotgun wielding, mutant killing, whiskey drinking badass, secretly be hiding some chivalrous alter ego? She likes the idea enough to let him off the hook. Even if – and it seemed likely – it was just her imagining good intentions where there were none, it's something to keep her warm at night.
She stares him down a while longer. Loves the way he shifts under her heated gaze. God does she love to make him squirm. "Just don't pull any shit like that again," she states evenly with a note of finality.
He doesn't say much as they keep going, but she can tell he's relieved. Or maybe she's imagining it. Hell, it's not like she's got a clear head when it comes to him anymore.
It makes her uncomfortable, after that. Sure, she'll flirt and seduce, but she never quite makes it past that. Some stranger will give her that look, that come hither look that used to make her giddy and drive her goddamn wild. But now she just feels Charon's eyes blaze into her back and she can't fucking figure out why she gives a damn.
When they get to Reilley's, she's in a foul mood. Weeks of no sex, just wandering around with all these "feelings" that make her feel like she's still a kid back in the Vault. She liked it better when she could just fuck and run.
Biggest goddamn mistake she ever made, sleeping with Charon. Can't outrun your own personal bodyguard.
She goes through her usual routine with the Rangers, and then very unceremoniously demands a drink because lord knows she needs a shot or two to drown out the past month. But they're all good sports, more than willing to ditch their own troubles in the bottom of a glass.
Three beers in and she's really feeling it. Her body's loose and her mind's halfway gone. She knows it's a good sign when she fixes her eyes on Donovan as he leaves the room, an invitation in his eyes. An invitation she is all too eager to accept.
"Fine piece of ass," she slurs slightly, taking another swig of that awful beer. Shit's two hundred years old, after all, but damn if it doesn't have a kick to it.
Reilly just laughs. She tells the older woman she should laugh more, that she should loosen up and spend the night with Butcher ("He was totally eye fucking you all night.") and Reilly giggles some more. She makes a lewd gesture and joins the older woman in a fit of laughter. The kind of side-splitting, cathartic laughter she hasn't had in… fuck, she can't even remember since when.
She's so caught up in. Can't think straight. But the words come out before she can think about it. "Hey, Charon." She giggles again when she realizes she'd completely forgotten he was there. First fucking time in weeks, she thinks bitterly. "Charrrron," her mouth dances over his name. Tastes almost like taffy to her alcohol soaked brain. "Do me a fav.. a favor. Go get those pretty boys for me and Reilly here," she stops to put her arm affectionately around her shoulders. "We're hard working ladies, aren't we, Rei?"
"We're… we're hard working ladies, you see, and we would very much apprec…. apprec…"
She pats Reilly on the back in thanks. "Appreciate," she says with a nod, "if you would find those two fine looking gentlemen so they could fuck us senseless."
Reilly cackles at that, the crudeness apparently too much for the merc leader. She's so loud it drowns out whatever he says.
She nudges Reilly to get her to calm down, putting a finger over her lips and giving a dramatic "Shhhh." When the two have sufficiently calmed down, she turns back to Charon expectantly.
There's a heavy silence. Reilly looks like she wants to giggle the awkwardness away, but the look the ghoul is giving her friend does wonders to sober her up.
"What the fuck did you just say?" Her face is on fire. Embarrassed or pissed? She hopes she's pissed.
"I'm not your fucking errand boy."
She's on her feet in seconds, and then wishes she'd taken it a bit slower. She feels Reilly pushing against her legs to steady her, but otherwise keeping out of it. "What?" she hisses in disbelief. Not at what he's saying. She's read his contract thoroughly over the past few days as she tried to keep out the chill and to avoid thinking about them. She knows perfectly well he's not an "errand boy." Instead it's the absolute… disgust, for lack of a better word, in his voice and his eyes gabs at her. She's seen that look on him a hundred times. Seen it every time she's taken a guy to bed. But he's never looked at her like that before.
But she was always a good card player. Best in the Vault, whatever good that does out here. So she puts on her poker face. Hides how tipsy she is, how much he's getting to her. "You'll do as I goddamn- HEY!"
He's picked her up by then, just stepped over and swooped her over his shoulder, arm holding her legs securely to his chest. As he leaves the room, she sees her own bewildered expression mirrored on Reilly's face. Reilly, who just waves in confusion.