It's Better This Way

Charlie Kenton sighed as he laid in the bed in the back of his truck. He hurt all over from Ricky's blows. He rubbed the side of his face, feeling a little bit of dried blood chip off. Sighing again, he turned over on his side, groaning softly as he put pressure on his bruises and as his body ached. He looked up over to Max on the shelf. He now felt slightly guilty that he made him sleep on that hard, cold shelf. He had put Max in so much danger by bringing him.

His eyes ran over the eleven-year-old boy's features, now realizing how much he looked like himself. He could also see a lot of Caroline in him as well. The soft facial expression, the dusty hair color. Why did I bring him? He could've been in so much danger... He had been in so much danger... Charlie sat up and stared out the window. He knew he had to make a big decision.

Debra and Marvin would be back tomorrow. He had to choose whether to fight for Max or to just give him up. Max had no idea how much Charlie loved him. Charlie's body tingled all over just at the thought. I do love him... But would loving him be best for him? They had just been in a fight. How many more fights would there be after this? It seemed like an impossible decision.

Charlie leaned against the window next to his bed, watching the cars zoom past and the street lights change colors in the distance. He couldn't hold this decision off forever. He had to decide within a few hours. He had to decide before Marvin and Debra came back. He cursed softly. Why was this so hard? Less than a month ago, Charlie couldn't care less about his kid. Now he was debating on whether or not he should fight for him.

They had been through so much in that single month. Max nearly died, Charlie got beat up. Yet, they had won so many fights. Beaten a league robot. Max had challenged Zeus. His eyes shifted over to the powered down robot in the corner. Atom. He couldn't help but smile slightly. He wouldn't be here with out him. He corrected himself. He wouldn't be here without Atom and Max.

He should let the kid go. Do what he didn't want to do; but his heart screamed to keep Max. To fight for him. To hold on. It's not right... I care for him... He's better off with Marvin and Debra. They can take care of him. They won't let him get beaten up. They wouldn't let him fall down a cliff. He had to do this. He had to give up Max. It was better for him. After all, if he loved Max he would do what's best for him.

Charlie turned back to look at Max, a small tear escaping his eye.

"It's better this way, kid."


A/N: Just a short one-shot about the scene where Charlie makes his decision. It's so sad! :( Anyway, please review and tell me how you like it!

Morgan