Father and Daughter

"Are you getting tired?" Dad asked as we traveled across the white sand.

"I'm okay." I told him, perking up and trying to walk with more energy than I really had.

He let out a sigh, and began to slow down. "Mia, let's find some shade and take a break. It's about time you got something to eat."

"I'm okay, really!" I said a little louder, running ahead as i shouted over my shoulder, my cloak rippling around my thin frame. "We gotta hurry! We don't have time to be sitting around."

The sand dune I was running across suddenly gave way under me, the whole world jerking forward as I tumbled onto the baking sand.

I was picking myself up as my dad ran down the dune after me, cursing as everything we owned jangled wildly in his huge backpack.

"I-I'm okay!" I said, sitting up as he made it to me.

He knelt down near me and, before I could protest, he scooped me up. "We are taking a break. You won't make it to Vegas if you keep pushing yourself like this."

His body was even hotter than the sand, his rough hands scratching my arm as he held me close. I didn't mind it.

"You'd be there by now if it wasn't for me." I said under my breath, staring at an old scratch on his chest. It must've been from a bullet.

He let out a sigh, his joints whirring with a familiarity few things in this world still gave me. A sound I've known ever since he found me.

"Maybe," He said as we passed by the rusted remains of a robot's body half-buried in the sand. Most of their parts were gone, long since picked apart by scavengers looking to make some quick cash, but you could still see the way their head was brutally caved in from something heavy and blunt. That, and their model and unit numbers that were stamped onto their chest.

The same model number as Dad's.

He pretended he didn't see it, but I felt him hold me closer in response. "Or maybe not. But that doesn't matter, because I have you."

He hugged me tight. "I love you. Let's find somewhere to rest okay?"

I nodded, resting my head on his chest as he carries me across this burning desert, already feeling sleep overtake me. Vegas will be better than where we lived before. For both of us.

We'll both be okay.