Fandom: nbc's Revolution
Rating: Teen, pg-13- mostly language
Characters: Nora, Jason and Danny
Pairing: Gen, past Miles/Nora, possible Jason/Charlie
Prompt: From nbc_revolution's Community Prompt Table 074. Fireworks
Summary: 5 days on the road with Nora, Jason and Danny; as they hash things out and open up to one another.
"Tell me- is the asthma for real, or are you just faking it for attention?"
"What?" Danny asks Jason incredulously, as he throws another log into the fire, hoping it'll be enough for the night . They've been traveling together with Nora for about a day, on their way to take care of a Militia ammunition storage unit. At the rate they're going, Danny isn't sure if Jason will survive the journey intact. "Are you serious? Of course I'm not faking it!"
"When was the last time you had an attack?" Jason asks him pointedly. "All the time you were traveling with the Major- he never reported a single attack. You definitely didn't get one since I came on board."
"I have an inhaler," Danny says, trying to rub out a kink in his neck. "I've got it under control."
"That thing cure you?" Jason asks with a huff. "Must be a magical inhaler then."
"You're a dick, you know that?" Danny says in disgust, getting under the blanket and using his pack as a pillow.
"I'm just saying-"
"If you two don't shut up, I swear I'll leave you here and go on without you," Nora vows from her sleeping cot, not even bothering to turn around.
"Good luck explaining that to my family," Danny mutters under his breath, lying on his back and staring at the sky.
"I'll just tell them Jason killed you."
"So why'd you volunteer me for this?" Jason asks Nora on the second day, during a rest stop, while Danny fills the water bottles.
"You were Militia, you might know something useful," Nora shrugs casually.
"Miles Matheson ran the Militia, he probably knows a hell of a lot more than I ever will," Jason argues.
"Miles hasn't been with The Militia in years," Nora says.
"Admit it, you were tired of chasing the old man and wanted some young meat," Jason leers at her. "I don't blame you, I'm pretty irresistible."
"You got me, this was all a ploy to get into your pants," Nora deadpans.
"You don't trust me," Jason says knowingly. "I've been with you guys for months, what does a guy have to do to prove himself to you people?"
"How about you tell me why you turned your back on your family, on your whole life," Nora insists. "Is it because you got into a fight with your dad? Or is it because of Charlie?"
"Ok, why does everyone think it's because of Charlie? I didn't join the Resistance because I like her- yeah ok, I do, but it's not the reason... " Jason trails off, before sighing.
"It wasn't right, what happened to her. You join The Militia or The Resistance and you know what you've signed up for- Charlie didn't ask for genocide-loving parents and a mass murdering uncle. She didn't ask for an idiot brother who'll bring a crossbow to a gunfight. It wasn't her fault and she didn't sign up for any of this shit. I know life isn't fair and the world doesn't give a crap, but I just couldn't let someone who's innocent get hurt, not if I could help it."
"So you've got a knight in shining armor complex," Nora says. "Charlie isn't that innocent kid anymore."
"No, she isn't," Jason agrees. "I guess I got sick and tired of it all, I just couldn't take it any more."
"How do I know you won't just run back to your father, if he takes you back?" Nora asks him. "Even if you two disagree, even if you hate him- he's still your father, there'll always be a part of you that wants that back."
"Are we still talking about me, or about Miles and Monroe?" Jason arches an eyebrow.
"I think they're past reconciliation at this point," Nora says with a grimace.
"How about you and your sister?"
"How did you-"
"I knew Strausser had her, knew he was going to use her against you. I was trying to figure out where he was heading, when I got caught. I get roughed up something fierce and when the Major found out, you know what he said?" Jason asks her with an ironic smile. "He said 'what did you do?' He doesn't give a rat's ass about me. No matter how hard I've tried... I've been nothing but a liability and a disappointment to him."
"Family is important," Nora says, glancing away with a sigh. "But sometimes it's not enough. My sister betrayed my trust, she betrayed my friends- I couldn't move past that."
"I can't be who he wants me to be," Jason admits, swallowing thickly. "I tried for years to pretend, I wanted to make him proud... I don't think I can live with myself, being the guy he wants me to be."
"Maybe he's the one who should have been living up to your expectations, not the other way around," Nora says gently, laying a hand on his shoulder and squeezing. "It's not an easy choice to make- choosing other people or a cause over family."
"You guys are never gonna trust me, are you?" Jason's shoulders sag in defeat. "I can be with you for years and it won't matter. I saved Charlie's life, several times and all she can see is the guy who lied to her."
"Give it some time," Nora says. "She'll come around. She's accepted her mom and her uncle and both of them have made some terrible decisions and done horrible things." She huffs out a chuckle. "Welcome to the Second Chance Brigade, we accept all members with sketchy pasts and guilty consciences."
"We need a couple more thousand members for a Brigade, this is more of a Squad," Jason counters, smirk firmly in place. "Didn't you used to date a General?"
"You know, Jason, I'm starting to understand why everyone hates you."
"So- why are we on this mission on our own? Did you and Miles have a fight?"
"Do you ever shut up?" Nora asks Jason, as they set up camp from the night. "Miles and Charlie are busy negotiating with Georgia, you know that."
"Miles negotiating, now that's a disaster I'd pay to see," Jason smiles. "But they didn't want me tagging along. Why did you stay behind with Rachel and Aaron? Why not go with them, or wait for them to be done and then we can all blow up shit together as a bonding exercise? I just figured you'd want to spend more time with Matheson, work on those next generation baby recruits-"
"Ewww, gross," Danny complains as he returns with wood for the fire. "I do not need that image."
"Well, you gotta learn about sex eventually, kid," Jason shrugs. "So, the two of you aren't tearing each other's clothes off or tearing each other apart. So what gives?"
"It's none of your business."
"Well if this is some kind of angsty suicide run, because your love is doomed- it sorta is."
"I just need some time away," Nora says hesitantly. ""When I was on my own, before Miles came and found me- I was doing good. I had a cause I believed in, I was getting shit done and I was focused. Then he and Charlie came and suddenly instead of a revolution we were busy with a doomed rescue mission- sorry Danny- and all these old feelings and issues resurfaced."
Nora takes a deep breath, before continuing. "When I'm with him... I get swallowed up, I lose myself, we get caught up and bad things happen. When that happens, I tend to do something reckless, to remind myself who and what I am, like putting a bomb on a Militia train. Now with you it wouldn't have been a big loss, but killing Danny kinda defeats the purpose of saving him." She smiles ruefully.
"It's like that for me and Charlie," Danny says, before correcting quickly: "I don't mean- it's just that... Sometimes when I'm with her I'm so used to doing what she wants and following her around, I sort of forget to ask what I want."
"Hell, nobody ever bothered asking me what I wanted," Jason chimes in. "Between my mother and the Major, they had it all planned out for me."
"So what do you want, Danny?" Nora asks him. "You didn't have to come along- in fact I think your mom would have preferred if you'd stay with her until Charlie and Miles got back."
"I think she'd prefer to lock me up in a nice padded room for my own safety for the rest of my life," Danny complains to himself. "They keep treating me like I'm a baby- but I'm not a kid anymore! I'm sick of them always deciding for me, always trying to protect me."
"Wow, are you really bitching about people caring about you and trying to keep you safe?" Jason asks, shaking his head. "My father's idea of protecting me? Was teaching me how to use a knife when I was six. He taught me how to fight by beating me up, until I learned how to block his blows- because if someone else came at me, they wouldn't take it easy on me. He told me that I had to toughen up, because if I was scared or weak, I'd be dead."
"Major Neville basically told me the same thing," Danny says. "He also told me I reminded him of you."
"That's insulting, I'm not a damsel in distress."
"Screw you, Jason."
"I'm flattered, but you're not my type. Now your sister on the other hand..." Nora smacks him upside his head. "Ouch! What the hell?"
"You're being a bigger dick that usual," Nora tells him. "I know where you sleep at night and I'm very good with explosives."
"Fine, fine," Jason grumbles, touching his head tentatively. "Where are your rebel buddies, anyway?"
"We'll meet up with them tomorrow, hopefully they managed to steal a supply wagon and some uniforms, or we need a new plan. You should get some sleep, we have a busy two days ahead."
Nora and Danny are sitting on the ground and putting together the explosives. "Now wrap it up gently," Nora tells him, watching him work. She suddenly smiles to herself and shakes her head in amusement.
"What?" Danny asks.
"Nothing, I just remember months ago teaching Charlie the exact same thing."
"Of course you did," Danny sighs.
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing," Danny shakes his head. "Forget it."
"Are you jealous?" Nora asks, squinting at him.
"It's not that, it's just... Charlie is really good with a crossbow and she's a better fighter than I am, so of course she gets to do this first too."
"Second child syndrome," Nora gives him a small smile. "Mia used to complain that I got to do everything first. She used to hate getting my hand-me-downs. Danny, this isn't a contest and Charlie didn't really have much of a choice- on the way to Philly stuff happened that forced her to toughen up."
"Like Maggie dying," Danny sighs. "If I hadn't pulled the crossbow on the Militia, my dad would still be alive and maybe Maggie would have still been alive too."
"You can't think like that," Nora tells him gently. "You didn't shoot your dad, Neville's guy did, ok? It takes guts to stand up to the Militia. Two months after the blackout, a looter came in the middle of the night to our home. I was only a few years younger than you are and I hid under the bed with my sister. I was so scared, even after he left I didn't dare get out until the morning." She looks away, swallowing thickly. "When I went to check on my mom, I found her dead, just lying there all bloody in her bed."
"There's nothing you could have done," Danny tries to reassure her. "You were protecting your sister."
"I was protecting myself," Nora gives him a self-deprecating grin. "I was scared, so I just hid and hoped he wouldn't find us. Maybe I could have stopped him, I probably couldn't. But the point is that I didn't even try."
She clears her throat and goes on. "Monroe was looking for your dad for years. If the Militia had taken him alive, I'm not sure what he would have done to him or to Rachel to get them to talk. And Maggie died because of some nutjob in Lowell. She chose to be there and she killed that guy's dog to save Aaron's life. I know you Mathesons love your guilt trips, but not everything that happens is your fault. You need to let it go, before it eats you up inside."
They finish making their pipe bombs and explosions in relative silence, both too preoccupied with memories and ghosts to hold much of a conversation.
"We're ready," Jason tells Nora that evening, decked in his Militia uniform. He seems uncomfortable and keeps tugging at his sleeves and scratching his neck.
"You clean up nice," Nora gives him a half smile. "I always did like a guy in uniform,"
"Well now I know how Grumpy got you into bed. You wanna help me get out of this later?" Jason wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.
"And now I'm over it," she packs the explosives into her backpack. "Let's go."
For once, everything works like clockwork. Jason and a few rebels in uniform use the supply wagon to infiltrate the base. Danny and Nora set up a few well placed charges- to distract the guards and clear a path for the rest of the rebels. One group goes to the stalls to commandeer as many horses as they can grab, and release the rest; while the rest fight off the Militia.
"Stay close to me," Nora instructs Danny and hands him one of her longer knives. She and the rest of the rebels cut and slice their way through anyone in their path, until they meet up with Jason outside the storage unit.
"We need to get whatever weapons we can on the wagon, before you blow the whole place up," Jason tells Nora.
"Then do it, I'll set up the explosions. You have five minutes, then get out to the rendezvous point," Nora nods at him.
"I'll help," Danny tells Jason, as they get five rebels to help them grab as much ammunition as they can.
"Right, let's move before Nora actually succeeds in blowing us up this time," Jason tells Danny. "You're on the reigns, I'll ride shotgun." Danny steers the horses away from the camp in a gallop, while Jason and the rebels riding on the wagon shoot any Militia that tries to approach them. They hear the explosion going off behind them, nearly knocking them off the wagon as the angry flames lick at their backs.
"Took you long enough," Nora tells them when they meet back up, her tone disinterested but her expression relieved. Everyone has made it back alive and even those that were injured were conscious and mobile. "We should divide the ammo and get a move on soon- we may have taken their horses, but we should still put as much distance between us and them as possible."
They divide the ammo and horses between them, as the rebels part ways with them, making sure to travel by separate routes.
"We should get going as well," Jason says, as he un-harnesses the horses from the wagon. "That big of an explosion, they would have seen it next camp over as well."
"Just one minute, I've got a surprise for you," Nora says with a mysterious grin. "Do either of you know what today is?"
"Tuesday?" Jason asks, confused.
"I meant the date," Nora says exasperated. "It's July 4th. It doesn't mean much nowadays, but it used to, back before the blackout. I remember we used to always have a family picnic and then later watch the fireworks display. It wasn't exactly the same after the divorce, but Mia and I always watched the fireworks together; Mia used to love them so much," her smile turns wistful.
"Nora-" Jason is interrupted by a whistling sound and an orange explosion high in the night's sky, spreading out into shooting stars. More and more colorful explosions shriek as they paint the sky, from green to blue to red in dizzying succession.
"Fireworks," Danny says in wonderment, a huge smile on his face. "How did you-?"
"Trade secret," Nora smiles, as she loops her arm across both of their shoulders. "Happy Independence Day, boys." They watch the display in silence for a few moments, the fireworks etched for hours later onto their retinas in colorful spots. Nora finally breaks the silence, her tone serene. "Let's go home."