AN: Constructive criticism is welcome. Let me know if there are any inconsistancies or things that can be improved. I'm currently looking for a Beta if anyone's interested.
Pairing: Benny/Male Courier
Summary: Now the Courier isn't exactly Mother Theresa, however, in this day and age he comes close to third. Next in line compared to the Followers of Apocalypse. You'd have to be if you're letting Benny off the hook. The Courier is already questioning his own decision to let Benny tag along for the Battle of Hoover Dam but one things for sure; The future doesn't always follow a straight line.
Sand and gravel stretched on for miles with no end in sight. Occasionally, these same sands would turn against them and blow in their faces, but thankfully it wasn't happening right now. Rocky terrain was pushed aside as their shoes trudged and toiled towards New Vegas – The Legion hot on their tails and the NCR looming just ahead of them. The bolstering heat was enough to melt their skins off - and the man walking next to him - wasn't making things any easier. Somewhere along Highway 95, he began questioning why he rescued the asshole in the first place, but chalked it up to the man's penchant for getting into trouble. Sweat dripped down from the top of his green beret to the bottom of his neck. Before any more bodily fluids could fall down, the back of his calloused hand moved to clear it off his pale features. Novac could be spotted in the distance, but amid each step they took, the image would flicker across his gaze like a mirage.
"You never did tell me your name." Benny stated as they walked at leisured pace, his eyes on alert. He wasn't wearing his usual checkered suit – for the simple fact that they'd be spotted quicker than a bullseye at the shooting range. In place of his normal attire, the former head Chairman wore a common wasteland outfit with a poncho draped over the shoulders. A hockey mask covered the tanned face he normally presented with pride.
"That doesn't matter. Courier is fine."
"Baby, you're one crazy sonofabitch letting me live. I don't believe you when you said you forgave me. Now how's about telling me exactly what you think you're doing by letting me free?"
"After all I've done for you; you still have the gall to complain." He replied dryly, clearly irritated but too fatigued to lash out in annoyance.
"What world have you been livin in, heaven? The world we live in is the Wasteland and that ain't about to change after a few diplomatic speeches."
"I believe you aren't the cut-throat you make yourself out to be. I'd rather see you atone and the only way I'll get to see you do that is if I'm the one overseeing your character development."
"That still doesn't answer my question. Sheesh, they say the Legion's dark." Benny felt something in the pit of his stomach; he wasn't sure what it was but it was a feeling that he had done wrong. To say he was touched by the merciful gesture was pushing it, nevertheless it still managed to hit far too close for him to ignore.
"I'm looking for skilled personnel to help me run, organize and defend New Vegas. So far, most of the people I've met either have ties to a specific organization or don't seem capable enough to help me. You however are completely free of any obligations after our stint at the Tops. House was going to make you his protoge which has to count for something. Work for me on the condition that I get to keep my eye on you at all times which includes implanting a tracking device somewhere and having you accompany me everywhere I go."
"... And if I don't?" Benny knew he wasn't going to be able to sweet talk his way out of this one -considering everything he's done to the guy and a lot of other people. His eyes brimmed with uncertainty as he asked a rhetorical question that had an obvious answer.
"You aren't in a position to be asking that right now, but you're free to go as long as you stay out of Vegas. I may be a Saint, but I'm not dumb enough to let you back into the Strip without a reason." The Courier smirked, enjoying his position of power over the cheating bastard.
"I can't believe Mr. Goody Two Shoes is smirking at me like that." He sighed, weaving his fingers through his sweat-matted black hair.
"Just answer the question: Are you in or not?" the Courier's patience thinning with each passing second.
"Alright, I'm in, but no funny business, yah dig."
"I should be the one saying that to you."
"You're just jealous." This time, Benny was the one smirking.
"Aren't we vain?" the Courier replied, amused at his counterpart's attempt at a joke.
"What gave it away, my well groomed hair?" The smirk then descended into a more serious expression. "How do you know I won't screw you over again?"
"There aren't even many benefits to screwing me over Benny. I've got the Strip completely under my control with Yes Man reprogrammed to only accept commands from people I trust and I don't plan on dying anytime soon. You could've turned your back on me and left me to die at Fortification Hill but you didn't. I'm surprised we even managed to survive the whole predicament, even with Stealthboys at our disposal." He said, motioning for Benny to lead him towards their destination. "In any case, we've got work to do. Backstabbers first – I'm watching you so keep walking in front of me where I can see you convict." This was the one thing the Courier could always look forward to in the future. Not unlike how his throat currently burned away from dehydration. He realized that he'd forgotten to pack extra water when he set off for Fortification Hill and there weren't any traveling merchants on the roads. They had travelled an irregular path to throw off their pursuers and it had worked at the cost of resupplying. There were no doubt fruits here and there, but they couldn't stop because they were short on time. They needed to get to Nellis Airforce Base before the Legion made another attempt to take Hoover Dam. He sighed at the thought of Benny being the last person to drink his last bottle of water. Sometimes – sometimes the Courier really did regret helping people. Just two kilometres more and they'd be in Novac where there was a decent place to sleep and a chance to stock up on necessities.