Fandom: Real Steel
Characters/Pairings: Max, Charlie
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Gen
Word Count: 300
Summary: Max has a nightmare.
A/N: I saw Real Steel and liked it. Then I saw it again, liked it even more. Saw it a third time, and now it seriously won't get out of my brain. I need more of Max and Charlie and since nobody else is doing it, I guess I've gotta do it. UGH. *slackerpout*
Oneshots, but I'll probably write a few more.Disclaimer: I do not own Real Steel or the characters.
The night after Atom's first fight Max doesn't fall asleep until three in the morning. He's been running on caffeine and adrenaline as it is and, after the high of having actually won wears off, he crashes hard.
It's still not hard enough.
He dreams of the ground giving out beneath his feet again, of sliding down the rain-drenched slope, and this time he knows Atom isn't there to catch him. Max dug him out with his own two hands. There's no one at the bottom.
The impact catapults his terror until he feels like he's going to break apart. Max hears himself screaming. His mom is dead and he's dying, too. He's going to die and there's no one to save him, just like there was no one to save her. He's dying now.
But then something huge and hot wraps around him, pulls him up, holds him tight, and he feels the hard line of a chin against the top of his head, the thin fabric of a t-shirt under his hand. He grabs a fistful and holds on for dear life, sobbing so hard it hurts; his body can't make the sounds of his fear, how much he misses Mom, but it tries.
It takes awhile for him to feel like he's not on that cliff and he hates the way he sounds. He hates that he can't stop the noises ripping from inside him. He hates it, hates it all, wishes he could just go back home, back home to Mom.
Like he did that night, Charlie holds Max against his chest, so tight it almost hurts, repeating over and over in his ear, “It's okay, kid, I got you. I got you.”
Max cries until he can't cry anymore, until his eyes feel swollen and tender. The tears that have soaked the shoulder of Charlie's shirt burn Max's cheeks. He sniffles and breathes stuttering exhausted breaths into Charlie's arm and Charlie just keeps holding him tight until finally, finally, Max feels safe.