Prompt: nbc_revolution's Halloween Bingo-A-Thon. The rest of the table is HERE
Characters: Miles, Rachel
Pairing: Past Miles/Rachel
Summary: Miles POV from when they failed to stop the nukes, till Gene asked him to leave town for Rachel's sake. Goes AU after that. [Spoiler (click to open)] Dark!Rachel
Also on AO3
They failed. They couldn't stop the nukes, they didn't bring back power to the world and Rachel shut down completely. Aaron and Charlie were looking at Miles, asking him what they should do and Miles had no idea. He had no big plans, no way to fix what they did and it seemed that every time he tried to make things better, he only made them worse. Maybe if he hadn't gone with Charlie to save Danny, if he'd convince her to just go home, the kid would have still been alive. Monroe would have kept him prisoner as leverage against Rachel, but he would still be alive. Nora definitely would have still been alive if he hadn't gone to find her. Maybe Monroe would have succeeded in defeating Atlanta, but there would have been far less fatalities than with the nukes, destroying both cities.
Miles knew he couldn't think like that, because he couldn't afford to wallow in self-pity, Rachel needed him right now, Charlie needed him and he couldn't let them down, he'd already ruined their lives enough. So he made up his mind and they headed towards Willoughby, Texas, hoping against hope that Rachel's father was still alive, still there and would be able to help Rachel, 'cause Miles sure as hell couldn't. For the first time in months, luck was on his side and Gene Porter was alive and well, getting over his shock quickly in order to treat Rachel.
All Rachel would say was that it was all her fault and that she broke everything, repeating the sentence as a mantra while she stared off into the distance. Miles stayed away, telling himself it's for the best- he was good at only one thing and that's killing; Rachel wasn't coherent right now and she'd probably not even acknowledge or want him there. Besides, Miles was terrible at emotional support stuff, and Gene and Charlie could do that better anyway. So he hovered around, near but not intrusive and waited for Rachel to get better.
Rachel slit her wrists and tried to kill herself. Gene angrily marched over to Miles and told him Rachel needs him right now, so he should get over himself and be useful for a change. Miles started spending time around her bed, just holding her hand and complaining about everything, because he couldn't vocalize anything important, anything meaningful that could help her through it. But little by little she started to come back to them, the fragile pieces of her psyche still not quite fitting as well as before, but it was a start.
Then Charlie decided to take off, saying she couldn't be around Rachel after everything that's happened. Miles understood her reasoning and there's a part of him that wanted to tell her the truth about her mom leaving her, about what he did to her and about how he was probably also responsible for her mom being the way she was. But he was a selfish bastard and he loved Charlie too much, needed her too much and couldn't stand it if she hated him. So he hugged her goodbye and swallowed his self-disgust, hoping this wouldn't cause Rachel to relapse and wondering if they'd be any coming back if she did.
But Rachel didn't relapse; instead she kept improving day by day, helping her father out at his clinic and seemed calmer than she's been in ages. They never talked about their past, about her time in captivity or Strausser or Bass; they kept things simple, manageable and avoided any and all landmines, which suited Miles just fine. Rachel kept a book of crazy in which she wrote some conspiracy theories, trying to figure out why Randall did what he did. Gene was concerned, but Miles figured it was a good outlet and a paranoid Rachel was better than a catatonic one. She also had some secret project in the basement and nobody was allowed entry; Miles and Gene figured Rachel needed her privacy and they didn't want to do anything that would disturb her equilibrium.
Miles knew that Gene never liked him, that he always pegged him as a bad influence on his daughter and on her marriage. He had no idea that Gene knew about the affair, or at least had strong suspicions. Gene told him about Rachel's history with dating the wrong guy; he said that Rachel was getting better and the last thing she needed was the wrong guy. Miles knew that he was right, that he kept ruining Rachel's life and she deserved better. He was at the stables, getting ready to leave, trusting Gene to tell Rachel something, when Rachel found him.
She asked him why he was leaving now, asked him to stay, but he couldn't, even if it killed him to see how much she was hurting. "I understand," she said, with a tight grin. "But before you go, there's something you should see."
"What is it?" Miles asked, but Rachel was already heading back. Miles sighed, but he owed Rachel that much at least, so he followed her back to her place and watched curiously as she unlocked the basement door. "Your secret project?"
"It's ready, mostly," she said with a smile as she handed him a candle. "After you."
Miles started walking down the stairs; he heard Rachel shutting the door and her footsteps echoed his on the creaking steps. He reached the end of the stairs and looked around in surprise; there were medical equipments and various tools he couldn't even name and in the center of the room was a bed with restraints.
"Rachel, what the-"
He felt a pinch in his neck and the world started spinning. Arms grabbed him from behind as he fell, slowing his descend. A finger pushed a strand of hair away from his eyes lovingly, as his world turned black.
He woke up gradually, his eyes blinking in the near dark and trying to focus. "Rachel?" He asked the slightly blurry figure. He tried to get up, only to find himself shackled to the bed. "Rachel, what the hell is going on? Why am I tied up?"
"So that you don't leave, I thought that would be obvious," Rachel said with a slightly manic grin.
"Ok, so I won't leave town, Jesus, this is a bit extreme, don't you think?"
"You didn't leave me much of a choice," Rachel replied acidly. "You were going to abandon me, again."
"Rachel, I'm sorry, I was only trying to do right by you."
"It was my dad, wasn't it?" Rachel asked, she rolled a chair over and leaned towards him. "My dad talked you into leaving."
"He was just worried about you, he wanted to make sure you didn't relapse again and go crazy."
"Do you think I'm crazy, Miles?" She asked him calmly.
"Tying someone to a bed is not exactly sane," Miles said, before he took a deep breath and tried another tactic. "I think you've been through a lot-"
"And whose fault is that?"
"It's my fault, most of it," Miles admitted, swallowing thickly. "I'm sorry-"
"For what? For taking me away from my family? For torturing me? For leaving me with Bass and Strausser? For letting Charlie hate me and go away-"
"Yes, all of it," Miles nearly shouted. "If I could take it all back, I would, but I can't. All I ever cause you is pain and misery, that's why I was going to leave."
"I hate you, for what you did to me and for turning Charlie against me," Rachel said coldly, as she got up and approached her workbench. "But I also love you. God help me, but I do. I've tried to stop loving you when I married Ben, when you took me prisoner, but I couldn't."
"Don't you dare say it," Rachel turned to him furiously. "Don't say 'I love you' or 'I feel exactly the same', because you don't! If you did- you wouldn't have tortured me, wouldn't have turned me over to Bass or let Strausser…" She collected herself with a deep breath, before saying: "You wouldn't have hurt me like that if you truly loved me, the same way I love you."
"So this is about revenge? You're going to hold me prisoner for eight years as payback?"
"That would be fitting, wouldn't it?" Rachel asked with a pleasant smile, as she went back to examining her tools. "The thing is, though, I'm not like you. I don't want you to suffer needlessly, but I need to make sure you won't leave me again."
"I won't, Rachel, I promise," Miles said desperately, as he tried to get out of his shackles. "Rachel, this isn't you, ok? Whatever you're going to do, just don't."
"It's for your own good," Rachel promised him, as she picked up a hammer and walked towards the bed. "Oh, and you can scream all you like, I soundproofed the room." She suddenly swung the hammer down on his leg and Miles shouted out in pain. Rachel swung the hammer down on the other leg, before she finally put it down on the bench, surveying her work approvingly. She sat on the bed and caressed his cheek, murmuring to him soothingly.
"It's ok, Miles, I'm going to take good care of you," she promised him. "I'm going to help you heal and make sure you love me just as deeply as I love you, because you're all I have left now and I'm not giving you up." She curled around him in an embrace and listened patiently as his cries ebbed out into short gasps of air. A serene smile adorned her face as she finally felt relaxed and at peace.