From the moment Miles first saw her, with those big blue eyes perpetually pleading and naïve looking, he knew he'd go with her. Even when he'd flat out told her no, he had already given in. He would have gone out after her met up with her in the wilderness and said something cool about how she, and her little Scooby gang, wouldn't survive one day in the wild without him. But she'd come back for him, that actually surprised him. Family. He thought he had forgotten the meaning of the word, maybe he had. But he was here, with her, off on an insanely suicidal mission to save her brother. He looked over his shoulder and watched her trudge along behind him; she must have felt his gaze because her blue eyes met his. She gave him a questioning look. He shook his head and looked ahead. This was just the beginning.
She was shaking; crouched low she tried to quiet her breathing. They were everywhere, came out of nowhere. Her crossbow was no match for the militias' guns, and when shots were fired she'd lost track of everyone; they'd all just ran, dove to the ground. Charlie strained her ears trying to listen; she could hear the crunch of leaves under men's boots, the cocking of a pistol. She shivered. It was pitch dark all around her, the canopy of the trees blocking out the light of the stars. She heard a scream. Maggie. They had found her. She hesitated briefly before steeling herself and rushing towards the scream.
"Hey!" Charlie shouted, getting the men's attention. She managed to shoot one of the three, an arrow clean through his neck. She tried not to think about the fact that she'd just killed another person. It would be her third.
Maggie kneed the man holding her, but was dragged to the ground with him when he grabbed hold of her hair making her yelp. Charlie's hands were shaking as she tried to reload her crossbow. She wasn't quick enough. The militant raised his gun and fired. She slammed into the ground so hard the wind was knocked out of her, and a crushing weight pinned her in place. She heard Miles curse as he pulled her up from beneath him and dragged her behind the trees. He cursed again and she could see he was bleeding. The bullet had gone clean through his shoulder. Before she could say anything he had unsheathed on knife from his belt and ran back towards the battle. Charlie reloaded her bow and raced after him. She got there just in time to see the knife imbed itself in the militant's forehead.
It was over. Maggie ran over to where Aaron, who was passed out cold on the forest floor. Miles sighed and ran a hand through his hair, leaning back against a tree. He turned and saw her watching him. He looked relieved and then suddenly angry, really angry.
"You did a damn fool thing runnin' out like that." He practically yelled. Yeah, he was definitely angry. Charlie couldn't help but feel indignant at his reaction.
"I wasn't going to let them kill Maggie!" She answered back crossing her arms angrily.
"You could have died!" Charlie blinked, was that fear she head in his voice? He sighed again, clearly aggravated. And almost as an afterthought: "What about Danny huh?" Charlie walked over to stand in front of him, glancing up at him briefly before checking his wound. It wasn't as bad as she had first thought it had gone through the tissue of his upper arm, but it was just a flesh wound, nothing Maggie couldn't fix up.
"Are you okay?" He asked her suddenly, quietly. She looked up at him surprised thinking she should be the one asking that. But then it hit her, he'd reminded her after all. She didn't think she'd ever get use to killing. She swallowed hard and nodded. She felt a profound sadness and disgust at the situation at what she had been forced to do. That's when she felt his arms around her as he pulled her into a hug. Her hands fisted in his jacket.
"Thank you." She whispered. And he held her like that in the silence of the forest.
It was barely dawn, but Miles was wide awake. He couldn't sleep, not after yesterday. He got up and started walking away from camp being as quiet as he could. Finding a rocky sloped area he sat on one of the large moss covered rocks and thought. Sitting alone in the forest was actually quite peaceful, which was helpful since his mind was anything but. He couldn't even imagine what they, what she, thought of him now. He was surprised they were even still with him after all that. It wasn't as though he'd lied though, he hadn't betrayed them. Not really. He was so caught up in his own thoughts he didn't heard her come up behind him.
"You okay?" He turned to look at her as she took a seat beside him. He searched her face for anger, hostility, sadness, anything, but found nothing. He laughed humorously.
"That's it? 'You okay'?" Miles asked, he felt angry, either at her for not being angry or at himself. "You just found out it was my fault that the Monroe Republic even got started! You should be pissed, not asking if I'm okay." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear seeming to consider his words.
"Oh I am pissed," she finally answered. "But it's not like you wanted all this to happen. But," She turned and looked him straight in the eyes "What I don't understand is why you didn't stay and try to fix things. Why you ran away."
"I didn't run away," he muttered. She scoffed and gave him 'ya did too' look.
"Which," Charlie continued as she got to her feet, brushing the dirt from her pants, "is why you're going to put it right." He quirked an eyebrow, "We're going to get Danny back and then we're going to fix this mess!"
"You're really fond of suicidal plans aren't you?" She just smiled a big toothy grin. "And what makes you think I'll stick around for round two, huh?"
"Because we're family."