A/N: I won't make excuses for late chapters. just read on and enjoy! as always if this isn't your cup of tea, turn away now.
DISCLAIMER: i own nothing.
He was avoiding her, Charlie could tell. It may not be in an obvious manner but she knew Miles was avoiding her. Of course he was still ordering her around and talking to her like he did the other members of the group; but it was the little things that made her aware of it. He didn't accompany her on walks to get water, and whenever she was up for night watch, he made sure to go to sleep on time, or at least pretend to be asleep. He wasn't giving her any chance to bring up what had happened a few days ago and it frustrated Charlie to know end.
Part of her didn't understand, if he was as confused as she was, shouldn't they try to figure it out and come up with a solution? Or at least clear the air! Instead she was left to her own thoughts, which was perhaps the worst option of all. Charlie tried to reason why she had kissed him, why she had kissed her uncle. At first she had put it to impulse. She was having a vulnerable moment and Miles was there for her, period. However as soon as she accepted that explanation she couldn't reason why he had kissed her back. Was that impulse too?
This line of thought kept her running in circles until she got a headache and had to stop for a moment. Perhaps Miles not talking about it with her was a good thing; it might only complicate things more. On the flip side, part of her wanted Miles to tell her it was nothing and that it was all in fact impulse. Because the longer their silence went on, the more the other option crept into her head. That their actions weren't a mistake; there was a reason behind the impulse.
She did her best to push those thoughts out of her head; liking your uncle? That wasn't right. But when she would lay in her sleeping bag at night, they would seep through her blockade. Reminding her that she barely knew the man, he was hardly family. It was these thoughts and accompanying images that filled her dreams for the past few days and left her even more flustered and frustrated in the morning. It wasn't as if she could talk to someone about it. Sure she could pass it off as an interest in Nate, or whatever his name was, but who would she get advice from? Aaron was a definite non-option and Charlie had been growing discomfort with Nora. She figured it was still the whole train situation, despite the dark part of her that said otherwise.
"Let's set up camp here for the night" Miles suddenly spoke, breaking her from her thoughts. When he turned around, his eyes met hers for the slightest of moments before flicking away. "We get up early tomorrow, we may be able to make Philly by tomorrow afternoon."
There was little protest from the group as they began going about their ritual of setting up camp. Aaron went off to get wood while Nora looked through their rations to see what could be used for dinner. Charlie meanwhile kept her gaze on Miles who seemed to be making an effort to avoid looking up as he searched through his pack. With a sigh, she accepted her fate and went about her duties, already wishing she could just go to sleep.
She later found out that it wasn't such an easy task.
Instead of sweet release, Charlie found herself staring up at the night sky. After a few moments she would rotate to her side in search of sleep only to return to her star gazing ten minutes later. She couldn't help but wonder what the sky looked like when the lights had been on. Was it as beautiful as this?
A sudden ruffling from the woods caused her to become alert, her head jerking in that direction. She looked back at the others but with the fire out it was nearly impossible to see them. It seemed as if no one had noticed it. Slipping out of her bag, she carefully grabbed her blade and crept towards the source of the noise. As she grew closer there was another ruffling, assuring her that something or someone was out there.
She could feel her palm growing sweaty as she clenched the handle of her blade tighter. At worst she expected to find a militia patrol; she silently hoped it was just a rabbit or something. As she turned the corner, what she did see caused her blood to turn cold. Her feet immediately stopped and stayed frozen despite the screaming in her head telling her to run back to her sleeping bag and curl up. She couldn't make a noise, not even a squeak as she looked on horrified by the sight before her.
Miles had his pants around his ankles and Nora was wrapped around him like a pretzel. What was happening seemed obvious enough yet Charlie's eyes were intent on absorbing every heart wrenching detail. It seemed as if any and every butterfly she ever had felt was being taken destroyed. She wanted to interrupt them. Run over to Miles and slap him, call him a bastard for what he was doing. It was at this very moment that she started to realize the dark voice that came to her in her sleep was right.
Another minute passed before Charlie was finally able to tear herself away. Turning she sprinted back to the campsite, not caring if her movement was heard or not. When she buried herself in her bag she wanted to cry. She wanted to cry more than she had when she found her father or when Maggie left her; but she refused. Despite everything she held on to her resistance; the part of her that had gained experience and hardened over their travels. It was the thing she held onto during a battle, or when she had to put her steel face on. A part of her that she learned to develop from Miles.
She clenched onto that for dear life, until the darkness finally came over her.
The next morning there were no tears as Charlie walked with her head high, a steely look in her eyes. She was determined not to let Miles actions affect her. If he wanted to set a horrid example then go right ahead. Why should she care where he sticks that thing.
They had walked for at least an hour or two hours straight before Miles signaled for them to stop. "I think this is a good place for our first break-"
"I think we should keep going" Charlie interrupted, getting a surprised and confused look from Miles. Usually the situation was reversed with her calling for breaks and him wanting to carry on. "You said it yourself, taking this detour route is already setting us back. We need to make up as much ground as we can" she continued, unflinching from her uncle's gaze.
"I know that but Charlie, we've been moving since dawn. I quick water break won't hurt us on time."
Charlie merely scoffed at his reply, certain that he was just using this as an excuse to get a quick fuck in. She grabbed the straps of her backpack and turned on her heel, ignoring the looks she was most certainly getting from the rest of the group, Miles especially.
"Charlie…" he called out before shouting more forcefully. "Charlie!"
Much to his disdain, his niece continued walking on as he was merely a whisper in the wind. He glanced back at the other two members of the group and signaled that he'd handle it while they rejuvenated themselves. Charlie was already a good distance away and he had to jog to catch up with her. "Charlie, what is your problem. Do you want to get ambushed by militia?" he spoke scornfully, blocking her path with his larger frame.
"I can handle myself, in case you forgot" Charlie retorted, meeting his gaze. The flicker of recognition in his eyes told her that he didn't forget and that maybe he remembered what happened afterwards as well. If this was yesterday maybe she would have cared, but after last night…"Why don't you go take another 'break'"
Her tone wasn't lost on Miles who adjusted his position as she tried to go around him. "What's that supposed to mean?" When Charlie was silent he frowned further, putting a hand on her shoulder to stop her. "What's that supposed to mean, huh?"
"You know what it means" she finally snapped. She wanted to curse herself because she could feel tears threatening to build up and spill over.
Miles looked away, swearing under his breath. Of course he knew what she was talking about; he was just hoping it had been something else. This was one of those times he wished he could trade places with his brother, or any rational adult for that matter. Miles was a soldier, a general; he didn't know how to handle situations with words. Let alone this fucked up situation he found himself in.
"Charlie, Nora and I have history. We just gave in to our needs last night—"
"Why did you kiss me back?" Charlie interrupted bluntly. Despite the tears that threatened to fall, her brow was furrowed as she looked up at him, demanding an answer. "Were you just giving in to your needs then?"
"You know if it had just been me kissing you I would have said I was being a stupid, emotional, lost girl. But you kissed. Me. Back. And I need to know why. I need to know what it means" she finished, her gaze never breaking from his.
Miles couldn't remember being left so speechless in his life; perhaps when Charlie first walked into his bar was the only moment that compared. She was forcing him to confront what he had been avoiding over the last few days and he didn't like it. Every time he thought back to that moment, the way he felt when her hips had straddled him, he was reminded of how much he enjoyed it and then quickly reprimanded himself for thinking that.
"Charlie, this is really fucked up" Miles said, running a hand through his hair.
His niece was having none of it though as she crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him. It seemed like she had only gotten more stubborn since he trained her. "You're dodging" she said simply.
The former General let out a frustrated sigh, quickly seeing he wasn't getting out of this without some attempt at an explanation and unfortunately for him, Charlie had the uncanny ability of seeing through his bullshit. "What do you want me to say, Charlie? That I enjoyed kissing my niece. That it's the one thing I've been avoiding thinking about because every time I do I want to pull you aside and have my way?"
"Nora…" God he was going to hate himself for admitting this. "…Nora was a poor replacement. I needed something to keep me sane. There. Is that what you wanted? You want to know why, Charlie I have no fucking clue why!"
The immediate silence that followed his admission was thick enough to slow a bullet. The determined angry look she had been giving him merely faded to a blank stare, her mouth slightly ajar. Charlie didn't know what she had expected, maybe for him to be in denial some more but his honest outburst was definitely not expected. Her heart was beating faster than that moment in the words yet she had never felt more unsure or afraid before. This was what she wanted wasn't it?
"For fuck's sake Charlie"
She barely had time to register his comment before she felt his hands pulling her face towards his, their lips crashing together. Despite her shock, she only took half a second to respond. She had been waiting for this moment for nearly a week and wasn't going to let it go by being a doe in the headlights. It was also only then that she could admit to herself that she had in fact been waiting and wanting this to happen.
In a matter of seconds his big, rough hands had her jacket on the ground and were pushing up her tank top. Her inexperienced hands moved down his chest, pass his abdomen and to the button of his jeans. His lips had moved to her neck, causing her to fumble with the button (or was it her nerves?). A too-loud moan escaped her lips when he sucked on the skin that Charlie didn't know was so sensitive.
She gave a sharp gasp when she felt his experienced hands cupping her breast under her shirt. She had explored her own body before but with Miles it was something else entirely. He was a man who knew what he was doing, who knew what reaction he would get by tweaking her nipples and smirked in satisfaction when she gave him the responding moan.
The first time her name was called they were both too far gone to stop. It was only on the second attempt that Miles pressed his hand over Charlie's mouth, her eyes wide in fear.
'Get dressed. Now' Miles mouthed to her. Seeing as she had her shirt pushed up and jacket on the ground, Miles made the decision to be a distraction, seeing as Charlie hadn't even managed tog et his zipper down.
Once Charlie had parted from him, Miles did his best to adjust the bulge in his pants and began walking back towards camp until he found Aaron, standing and shouting Charlie's name. Bastard.
"Miles" he said, sounding a bit surprised. "Did you get Charlie when you were out there."
"Nope. She musta been really pissed, got way ahead me by the time I was out there" Miles responded, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Who's got the water?"
A/N: such teasing, mwahahaa :P but i hope you guys liked this. not ridiculously long but I always said these chapters wouldn't be books. I felt like Miles turning to Nora as a went to vent would be a rational reaction? maybe that's just me. and of course Charlie is at the crossroads of wanting to be vulnerable and wanting to be strong, but we see she doesn't really play Miles bs xD anyway, i really hope you guys enjoyed it and i will try my hardest to get the next chapter out sooner than this one came.