Summary: Charlie's exhausted and Don's whistling happily in the next room
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ
"I like it when you whistle."
Don stopped whistling, dirty dinner plates still in his hands as he paused outside the kitchen door.
"You like me whistling?" He screwed up his face in confusion.
"Yeah," Charlie said, shrugging a little before letting his shoulders sag wearily. He had bags under his eyes and was clearly showing the ill effects of sleep deprivation.
"Huh." Don disappeared into the kitchen and returned with empty hands, walking over to where Charlie seemed paralyzed - risen from his chair but lacking the energy to do much else. Don slipped his arms gently around Charlie's waist in invitation and his brother curled into his chest with a contented sigh in response. Don rubbed his back in slow circles, letting him rest against him. "Why do you like it when I whistle?"
"Because you only do it when everything's okay," Charlie mumbled into his shirt, breath warm against his neck. "Only when you're not stressed out and things are going well. So if you're whistling I know I can relax. I don't have to worry."
"Don't worry, be happy?" Don teased affectionately.
"Something like that," Charlie replied, chuckling lightly.
"You must be exhausted," Don said, placing a kiss on the top of Charlie's bowed head. "Why don't you go lay down on the couch for a bit while I clean up these dinner dishes?"
Surprisingly, Charlie acquiesced without a struggle. "Okay," he said, yawning as he reluctantly withdrew from Don's embrace.
Don took his face in his hands and laid a final kiss on his forehead, making Charlie smile serenely.
"I'll be done in a few minutes and we can curl up on the couch and watch the game."
"Okay." Charlie leaned his head against Don's shoulder. "I suppose this means I have to actually walk all the way to the couch."
Don laughed. "When you run out of gas you really run out of gas, don't you?" He gently steered a slightly stumbling Charlie over to the couch, sat him down then turned the TV on low. "Make sure you let me know when the game starts. I don't want to miss any of it like last time."
"No problem," Charlie said, trying to nod and yawn at the same time.
With a grin, Don ruffled his hair and took off for the kitchen. Three steps in he was whistling again. He whistled his way through the dinner dishes and through putting away the leftovers. He finally emerged from the kitchen ten minutes later to find Charlie asleep on the couch by the flickering light of the television.
Carefully Don laid an afghan over him and turned off the TV, smiling down at his sleeping brother.
"Works every time..."