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Three Guards part three
Charlie shot up gasping as a blast of energy filled him, energizing his every fiber. River stood over him, tears in her eyes and a weak smile on her lips. Before he could make a sound she had him wrapped in a bone crushing bear hug.
“I thought you were dead! You fell and I couldn’t wake you and, and….” A sob caught in her throat
“And then your heart stopped and I knew you were gone, just….gone,”
Charlie wrapped an arm around her shoulder awkwardly, not sure what to say. He and River had always been good friends, but he had never really thought them close. River broke away from him with a slight huff and quickly wiped the tears from her eyes with the cuff of her sleeve.
“Of course we’re close bolt brain, your all I’ve got!”
Charlie just looked at her and decided to let the fact that she had just read his mind slide, more worried about the fact that she was right. Now that he thought about it, he realized that River was all that he had in this life, too. After a year of beating up nightmares hither and thither he had begun to take her for granted but now he realized how much he needed someone he could rely on not to call him crazy.
“River, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize” He said quietly, the full impact of the situation just now coming to rest on him
“It’s alright” River answered offhandedly, a hint of her old cheer returning
Charlie raised a hand to scratch his brow and nearly knocked himself out with the muzzle of the gun. The weapon had remained locked in his grip the whole time and it took a massive power of will to release it. River glared at the firearm as Charlie laid it upon his lap.
“You should destroy that thing” she growled
After a moment the young man shook his head slowly “No, I’m going to hang onto it,”
“But it killed you!”
“I think it was more lesson than malice,” Charlie said grabbing the gun up once more as he rose unsteadily from the floor
“And besides” he began as he hobbled over to his workbench “It fits me,”
“How!?! You don’t kill things and that’s all a gun is good for!” River fumed
“I don’t think it’s a normal gun. You’re just going to have to trust me River,” Charlie said tiredly
River threw up her arms in exasperation “Fine, keep it, but when Jack gets here I’m going to shove it up his nose!”
Charlie grinned at her as he shut the drawer on his desk, the weapon safely locked inside.
“Sure, right after I burn that stupid bowler hat he’s so fond of” Charlie said, grabbing River’s arm as he made for the door.
“Where are we going?” the angel asked curiously
“Reno’s. I’d sell my leg for a pizza right now, and your coming with me,” Charlie groaned, one hand held theatrically over his stomach
“But I don’t eat!” River protested as she was dragged out of the room
An hour later they were sitting in a corner booth at Reno’s, the best, and only, Pizzeria in town. Charlie was tearing through a large pizza with every topping imaginable, while River stared dubiously at the slice on her plate. After a moment she leaned back with a resigned sigh and sacrificed the piece to Charlie’s plate, where it was swiftly put out of its misery.
“Where do you put it all?” River asked him in slight awe
“I’m a teenager, we come equipped with witty humor, smart remarks and two stomachs,” Charlie replied with a grin
River shook her head and glanced up at the door. At that moment death walked in.