?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
09 February 2006 @ 11:00 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Conflict and Resolutions  
Posted to numb3rs_slash


Title: Conflict and Resolutions
Series/Universe: Conflict and Resolutions
Pairing/Characters: Don/Charlie
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Pilot, Manhunt, Judgment Call
Summary: Don pushes Charlie away and almost loses him as a result
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


Don had made up his mind.

He'd decided to put this whole sick twisted fascination with his brother behind him.

Charlie could never know how he felt about him. It was his job to protect his little brother, even if it was from his own perverted obsession.

He was going to pick up the phone, call Nadine and ask her out like everyone expected him to.

He was going to take her out for dinner a few times, and when she invited him back to her place, he was going to fuck her senseless like the macho FBI guy he was supposed to be.

He was not going to think of his brother when he did it.

That was his New Year's Resolution.

+

Charlie had made up his mind.

He was tired of dancing around the issue with Don, had been ever since they'd put their mother's death behind them and started working together.

The casual touches, the sweet smiles, the caring tone in his voice as he said 'buddy' when no one was around to hear...

Don was slowly driving him insane and Charlie couldn't stand it anymore.

He'd seen the lust and guilt in Don's eyes when he thought Charlie wasn't looking.

He knew Don secretly wanted him, he knew he wanted Don and he knew they both knew why it was wrong.

He just didn't care.

He was going to wait until they were alone at Don's apartment and when Don sat too close to him on the couch again, he was going to grab him and kiss him without giving him time to protest.

Don might punch him or he might kiss him back.

But his brother was all he could think of, so he had to do it.

That was his New Year's Resolution.

+

"You sure you don't want a beer?"

"I'm good."

Charlie watched as Don settled back into his chair with his second beer of the night. He'd come over to watch a baseball movie that had just come out on cable, fully expecting his brother to sit next to him on the couch. He'd been tense and edgy all night, wondering if he had the courage to go through with his plan to kiss Don. Now he was confused. Don had kept his distance the whole evening without being unfriendly, and Charlie wondered if he'd just been misreading the signs.

They sat in silence until the movie ended and Don started flipping channels looking for something else to watch. A commercial for a new film was on and Don stopped for a moment.

"That's a good flick. You should go see it."

Charlie looked up from checking the TV listings. "I thought it hadn't opened yet."

"It opened last night."

"Oh. You went to see it yesterday then."

"Yeah, Nadine wanted to see it so we went. It's better than it looks in the trailers."

"Nadine?"

"Yeah, Nadine."

"I didn't know you were seeing each other."

Don shrugged noncommittally and went back to flipping channels.

"Hey, I found something to watch. Put on channel 10."

Don flipped to that channel and watched for about twenty seconds. "Looks boring," he said and went back to flipping channels.

"You only gave it a few seconds! How could you tell it was boring?"

"I was bored."

"You know what? All this flipping channels is giving me a headache. You take the listings and find something to watch and I'll take the remote before you give me a migraine."

Don kept on pressing the button on the remote, cycling endlessly through the cable channels. "No way. My apartment, my TV, my remote."

"Oh, so you don't care if I get a migraine?" Charlie asked flippantly.

"Close your eyes."

"The sound still keeps changing and that's enough."

Don muted the sound on the TV. "Happy now?"

Charlie let out a groan of exasperation. "Don, just stop, will you?" He got up and quickly snatched the remote from Don's hand. Before Charlie could walk away with it, Don quickly put his beer down and started wrestling Charlie for the remote.

Don was better trained, but Charlie used his brother's fear of accidentally hurting him to keep him from getting the remote back.

"What's the matter, Don? Big FBI guy can't get a piece of plastic away from his scrawny little brother?"

"Who says I can't?" Don growled. In a flash, Charlie found himself suddenly looking up at the ceiling from the floor. Stunned, he somehow managed to keep hold of the remote even as Don tried to pull it from him.

Desperately trying to find a way to keep his brother from getting the remote, Charlie rolled back and forth to make himself a moving target. At first it worked, but then Don simply pressed his body weight down onto Charlie to immobilize him.

Charlie's efforts past that were futile as Don slowly peeled each finger loose one by one.

Suddenly the position they were in hit Charlie. They were on the floor and Don was lying on top of him. The realization made his grip loosen and Don finally wrested the remote away from him.

Once he did, the realization hit Don as well. Stunned, he simply looked down at his brother beneath him, unable to move for some reason.

Acting on pure instinct, Charlie reached up, took Don's face in his hands and pulled him down the last few inches to press their lips together.

For a second, Don's only reaction was to drop the remote. Mind racing, his thoughts overwhelmed him and he froze.

What? Charlie? He can't. He is. We can't. How did I not know about this? What if...

Then Charlie opened his lips and slipped his tongue into Don's mouth, setting off a spark of ecstasy that ran like a live electrical current through both their bodies at once.

Conscious thought left him as wanton desire filled Don's body. He'd wanted this, craved this, dreamed about the feel of his brother's body under him and now he had it. He wasn't forcing himself on Charlie - Charlie wanted this, wanted him.

A split second passed before Don responded and responded heartily. He plunged his own tongue into Charlie's mouth, eliciting a rumble of pleasure in the back of his brother's throat that sent a thrill through him. His hands ran frantically over Charlie's lithe frame as if he feared this might end any moment and he would miss his only chance to experience the body beneath him in the intimate manner he'd longed for for months now.

Charlie didn't hold back either. Emboldened by Don's avid response, he ran one hand over the supple roundness of Don's ass while his other hand snaked up Don's shirt to caress the soft skin on his back.

Driven by raw hunger, Don rubbed against Charlie aggressively, grinding their hips together and reveling in the echoing hardness beneath him.

Writhing with long awaited pleasure, Charlie let his eyes fall closed as Don moved down to ravage his graceful neck. "Oh God, Don..."

Evoking the name of a deity was like a splash of cold water on Don, rousting him from almost overwhelming temptation.

He pulled away sharply, moving several feet away from his brother and staring back at him with a shocked expression.

Startled by the sudden halt, Charlie sat up, confused and somewhat frightened. "Don?" he asked hesitantly.

Don just stared back at him, his expression a mélange of competing emotions.

Bordering on panic inside, Charlie tried to approach him as calmly as possible. "Don, what's wrong?"

"What's wrong?" Don choked out. "What's wrong?" The volume of his voice was almost a yell and Charlie winced slightly. "You even have to ask, after..." he waved his hand in the general direction of where they both had been just a few seconds previously, "that!"

"Don..." Charlie tried to keep his voice soothing as he inched closer to his brother. "I know you want me, I've known for a long time now, and it's okay because I want you too."

"No! It's not okay! There's no possible way that any of this could be okay!"

Hurt, Charlie looked at him with sad eyes. "Please don't say that. If you condemn yourself for feeling this way, you're condemning me too. This has nothing to do with anyone else but us. No one would get hurt by this, except us if we keep on denying how we feel."

"I don't feel that way about you," Don said coldly.

"You say that like you're trying to convince yourself not me," Charlie said softly. "You can say whatever you want, but your actions tell me more than words ever could." He reached out to Don and his fingertips barely brushed Don's knee before Don leapt up.

"You need to leave. Now," he said brusquely. He crossed his arms over his chest and took a few steps back, putting as much distance between himself and his brother as he could.

"Don, we have to talk about this," Charlie urged, getting to his feet.

"No, we don't. It's over, it never happened, we don't ever have to mention it again."

"We do, Don. We can't let something like this come between us. You're my brother and I love you..."

"Yeah, well I don't feel the same." Don's jaw was set and his eyes were cold. "Just leave me alone."

Charlie swallowed hard and his expression crumbled into sadness. He gathered up his things and headed for the door.

"Fine," he said quietly. "I'll just stay out of your way then."

The door closed with a barely audible click behind him.

Don slid down to sit on the floor as the weight of what had happened settled over him.

He'd won the battle to keep his soul, but he'd lost his only brother in the process.

+

"What do you mean, he moved out?" Don shook his head, unable to grasp those simple words.

"He. Moved. Out," Alan practically shouted, trying to restrain his obvious anger. "I'm not sure I can state it more simply than that. He doesn't live here anymore. You two got in a fight, he took his stuff and he's gone."

"Well, where is he?"

"He wouldn't give me the address."

"What?" Don exclaimed. "You're his father and he doesn't want you to know where he's living?"

"Not exactly," Alan said bitterly. "He doesn't want you to know where he's living. He just doesn't trust me to keep it a secret from you, and he's right I wouldn't. Whatever you two are fighting over, you need to resolve it. Once I'm gone, all you two have left is each other." Alan walked over to Don and poked him hard in the shoulder. "Fix this!" he scowled before he walked away.

Don stood in the living room of his family home, feeling the sudden emptiness of the house creep inside of him as well.

+

"Did you ask Charlie about helping out on this case?" Don tried to make his query sound normal, but Megan was having none of it.

"He didn't return my call, but he did email me contact information for Dr. April Lennox, who's a mathematician he knows consults with the Bureau office in San Francisco. He believes she's got adequate clearance to handle this case for us." Megan got up and sat on the edge of Don's desk, staring down at him. "He says he's too busy to help out, but you and I know that's not true. He won't help because you two still aren't talking."

"Back off, Megan," Don growled. He turned his back to her and started typing on his computer. "See if you can reach this Dr. Lennox."

Megan waited for a few seconds, opening her mouth to say more, then deciding against the futile effort. "Fine. I'll contact her."

She went back to her desk and Don stopped typing for a moment. Three weeks and not even a phone call from Charlie. The email to Megan had been the only proof that Charlie was still alive, that and the fact that each time he phoned Larry, he'd been rebuffed with the carefully worded statement 'Charles would prefer I not speak to you and I'm honoring his wishes despite how I might feel about them'.

Don refused to go look for him at Cal Sci and had almost convinced himself this separation was a good thing for both of them.

Almost.

+

"Don... Don! Stop!"

Startled, Don halted and looked down at Nadine beneath him. "What? Are you okay? Am I hurting you?"

"Not exactly, but I'm afraid you might be headed there," she said cautiously.

Don pulled out of her and flopped down on the bed on his back. "I thought we were having a good time," he said.

"Well, normally we do, but today you're just somewhere else. Look, Don. I know you don't love me and I'm okay with that. I'm fine with us working off some job stress in the bedroom, but whatever demon you're trying to exorcise by fucking me? It's not working. For you or for me."

She turned to lie on her side and run her fingers through his chest hair. "Don't get me wrong. I'm glad when you and I get together, but tonight? You're not really here and that's not fair to me."

Don sat up on the edge of the bed facing away from her. "You're right," he said quietly. "Do you mind if I take a shower before I go?"

"Be my guest."

Don went into the bathroom and locked the door. He avoided looking at himself in the mirror and turned the water on in the shower before he stepped in. As he stood under the warm spray, his hand drifted down to his still hard cock. He closed his eyes and started thrusting into his fist, figuring he should just get this part over with.

Suddenly a flash of memory assailed him and it was like he was back with Charlie in his living room two months ago. The sensory images flowed over him in a wash of pleasure: the feel of Charlie's tongue slipping between his lips, plunging his own tongue into his brother's willing mouth, the delicious friction of their cocks rubbing against each other...

Don came with a groan and almost instantly felt sick to his stomach.

Clearly, fucking Nadine as a substitute for Charlie was not working.

+

"How can it not work? We've used those equations on a half dozen cases and they've worked out great each time."

Dr. Lennox's voice came through clear but firm from the videoconference speakers. "I don't doubt that Agent Eppes. The work Dr. Eppes did on these hot zone equations was exceptional, but the data in this case clearly does not fit the variable scope he anticipated in his original calculations. Unless he reworks the equations, the best I could offer you would be a huge hot zone that would cover as many as 15,000 households and I know that's not useful to you."

Don sighed and Megan looked at him pointedly. "We need Charlie," she said.

"What about the dual hot zone model?" Don asked, not willing to give in so quickly. "You're a mathematician. Why can't you adapt that to give us a multiple hot zone model like you say we need?"

"Agent Eppes, I'm a mathematician, not a supergenius," Dr. Lennox explained, a hint of exasperation in her voice. "While I am fully capable of applying variables and data sets to equations like these, creating anything like this is way out of my league. Face it, Agent Eppes. You have the best man for the job down there. I don't think there's anything more I can offer you. I'm sorry."

Don cut off the videoconference without another word and avoided Megan's stare.

"Fine, call Charlie," he said.

He walked out of the conference room, leaving Megan behind with no clue as to what she could say to convince Charlie to return.

+

Don got back early from his witness interview and could see through the glass walls of the conference room that Charlie was presenting his findings to the rest of his team.

He knew Megan's deal with Charlie was that Don not attend the briefing and that Megan was his sole contact at the Bureau for this case, but he was still grateful for the help. Regardless of his problems with his brother, there was a part of him that would do anything to stop a child murderer and that part took precedence - obviously for Charlie as well.

The meeting must have broken up, since David and Colby walked past him, both speaking in hushed tones as if they didn't want him to hear them discussing Charlie.

Don stayed at his desk, figuring that would allow Charlie to leave without accidentally running into him.

He didn't expect Megan's frantic call, beckoning him to the conference room.

"Don, come quick!"

He stood up and turned to look into the room. Megan was talking rapidly on her cell phone, crouching down next to Charlie who was slumped on the floor with his back against the wall.

Don raced inside and got his first good look at Charlie in almost three months. His skin had an ashen pallor and his appearance was gaunt, almost skeletal he seemed so frail. He had a hand on his chest and seemed to be having trouble breathing.

Don dropped to his knees beside him. "Hey, buddy... Are you okay?" His tone was as caring as if their separation had never happened.

Charlie raised his dull and glassy eyes to his brother. "I don't feel so great," he mumbled, rubbing his chest absentmindedly.

"An ambulance is on the way," Megan assured Charlie, glancing over at Don as if to encourage him to do the same.

"I'm sure you'll be fine," Don said, trying to sound more confident than he was. "You've probably just been working too hard, not taking care of yourself, right?"

Charlie managed to nod a little. "Yeah, right..." The weakness in his voice made Don nervous and he edged closer.

"Just relax," he said. "We'll have a doctor check you out and you'll be fine."

Charlie's hand dropped to his lap and his eyes fluttered then closed.

"Charlie?" Don put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Come on, keep talking to me." He gave his shoulder a little shake and was alarmed when Charlie slid bonelessly towards the floor, unconscious.

"Charlie!" Don exclaimed, reaching for him as he fell. He quickly cushioned Charlie's landing, arranging him as comfortably as he could on the floor. "Get some blankets," he told Megan. "And make sure security is ready to hold an elevator for the paramedics so they can get in and out quickly!"

Megan merely nodded and ran off, returning quickly with two overcoats in lieu of blankets before leaving again.

Don laid the coats over Charlie's still form and fought back his panic.

When he put a hand on the floor, he felt how cold the tile was and realized he had to get his brother off the ground to keep him warm. He scooped up Charlie in his arms, startled at how light he felt, and held him in his lap while he waited for the paramedics.

Charlie's head rested on his shoulder and he stroked his curls reassuringly as his other arm held his brother against him. "You're going to be fine," he kept repeating.

The wait for the ambulance seemed to take forever and Don grew more agitated with each passing minute.

He looked down at Charlie's placid face and his heart ached, not just with the fear of loss, but with the sadness of the three months he'd lost of his brother's life - time he'd never get back. Based on how unhealthy Charlie appeared, those were obviously not good months for him either.

He ran his fingers lightly over his brother's stubbled jaw, caressing the face he loved so dearly, yet still managed to push away.

"I'm so sorry," he whispered. "Please don't leave me."

+

The ride to the hospital was painful.

The wait to hear what Charlie's doctor had to say, excruciating.

Somehow when the doctor did come to explain Charlie's condition, Don couldn't comprehend or remember anything he said past the first word out of his mouth.

Don had asked if his brother was going to be okay.

The doctor had said yes.

That was all that mattered.

He'd paced the ward until Charlie had been moved to a private room and he was allowed to see him. Still, he hesitated outside the door before going in. Part of him wanted to wait until his father arrived so he wouldn't have to go in alone, but he knew deep down he needed to face his brother and stop running away from their problems.

Nothing had changed since that day, at least in Charlie's perspective. Don wasn't sure what had changed for him; he just knew he couldn't go on without his brother any longer. What that meant remained to be seen, but the pain of the separation had hit him hard and Charlie harder, so it was clear they couldn't go on that way.

He turned the handle and slipped inside.

Charlie lay in bed with a hospital gown on, eyes closed, sleeping peacefully.

Now that he didn’t have long sleeves and three layers on, Don could see just how fragile his arms were, pale and slender against the white sheets.

He eased into the chair beside Charlie's bed and took his brother's hand. It felt slight, almost childlike in its delicacy. He suddenly felt afraid of breaking Charlie by holding him too tightly - the same brother he'd once wrestled and roughhoused with carelessly, in both their youth and adulthood.

He raised his other hand to cup Charlie's face. The feel of his strong jaw in his palm felt so natural and welcoming, the subtle warmth an invitation. He brushed his thumb over Charlie's lower lip and that familiar aching desire welled up inside of him. This time he didn't quash it down. He allowed it, letting himself gaze at the beautiful face before him that he'd missed so much.

Then Charlie moved restlessly in his sleep and turned on his side to face away from Don, making Don's hand fall away as he turned his back on his brother.

Even in sleep, Charlie rejected him.

Don knew he deserved no better.

+

Don hadn't been there when Charlie first woke up, but their father had been.

Don was careful to visit only when their father was present. He managed to keep an uneasy formality between them, one that was civil and peaceful, but not warm.

Alan could tell the two still weren't connecting, but was merely happy to have them speaking to each other again, even if his primary emotion was worry over his youngest son's health.

There was no question that Charlie would recuperate at the house. He wasn't given a choice by his doctor or his father and he obviously wasn't strong enough to fight them on it.

Don packed a large suitcase and temporarily moved back into his old bedroom, taking time off from work to see to Charlie's recovery.

Once they brought Charlie home from the hospital, he would sleep and nap as much as twenty hours a day. That left little time for Don to do more than bring him food and drink, which Charlie had a hard time keeping down.

Don would watch him sleep on the couch and sometimes sneak into his room at night to watch him as well, needing reassurance that he was still with him, even if he felt a million miles away.

After a week of helping his father look after Charlie, Don went back to work. He was at the office all of an hour before he realized he was too distracted to be there. In his line of work, distraction meant criminals got away or worse, someone could get hurt.

He filed the necessary paperwork for a longer leave of absence and left the office with Megan's blessing and assurances that they'd be fine without him.

Rather than go to the house, he went to his apartment. He sat on the couch where Charlie had sat last and put his head in his hands. Getting Charlie back wasn't enough. He was present, but not, and Don ached for the connection he'd had with his brother before everything had gone so horribly wrong. He just couldn't figure out what to do. There was no easy answer and perhaps no answer at all.

He picked up his cell phone and dialed.

"Cooper!"

"Hey, Billy, it's Don."

"Don! Calling in the middle of the day? What's up? Have you got some juicy fugitive case for me so I can come out and play with you and your brother again?"

Don winced at the mention of Charlie. "No, I just need to talk."

"Hold on."

Don could hear a great deal of noise on the other end and then silence.

"Okay, I'm alone now. You don't use that tone of voice unless something's serious. Last time I heard it you were telling me about your mom so you've got me worried now. Who is it? Your dad? Charlie?"

"Charlie," Don answered. "But he's out of the hospital now, he's back at home. That's not what I wanted to talk about though. Well it is, kind of, but it isn't."

"Don, what's going on?"

Don sighed. "Billy, I trust you with my life and I need someone to talk to right now who I can trust with a secret - a huge secret. Can you help me?"

"You can trust me," Billy said solemnly. "No matter what it is, I'll help."

+

Don walked up the driveway just as his father was coming out.

"I'm glad you're here," Alan said. "I wanted to get some more groceries and I'd feel better if your brother wasn't left alone."

"I'll keep an eye on him. I took some more time off from work so I'll be here for whatever you guys need."

"That's good to hear." A look of concern came over Alan's face. "Charlie's doctor isn't happy with his progress or rather his lack of it. He should have at least gained some weight back in the last week or so, but he hasn't."

"None?" Don said, surprised. "How can that be, he's been eating, hasn't he?"

"Well, evidently he's not keeping enough of it down, so I'm going to get some simpler foods in the hopes that he can manage them. I'll be back in about an hour, okay?"

"Yeah, no problem," Don said, still in a bit of a daze. "Take your time."

He walked in and did a quick sweep of the downstairs area before heading up to Charlie's room to look for him.

Don found Charlie stretched out on top of his bed, dozing in a pair of pajama bottoms, a math journal open and lying on his chest.

Don pulled the journal away slowly, hoping not to wake him. Charlie shifted positions yet didn't seem to wake, so Don sat gently on the edge of the bed to watch him.

Since he was shirtless in the warm afternoon sun, Don could practically count Charlie's ribs. Even his elastic waist pajama bottoms seemed to hang on his emaciated frame.

Three months of starving himself, three months of pining for him. If Don needed proof of the depth of Charlie's feelings for him, it was there before him, written in skin and bone.

To his credit, Billy hadn't judged him when he told him the whole story. Well, he had called Don an insensitive jerk and a few other choice terms for what he'd said to Charlie before he threw him out of his apartment, but he'd not been judgmental about the fact that Don had admitted having feelings for his own brother.

"Fate's a bitch," Billy had told him. "Evidently the one person who can make you happy just happens to also be your brother. It sucks, but if you love him, there's nothing you can do about it. Hey, just be glad you have someone who loves you, period. That's like gold and you don't just throw that away, no matter what other people think."

That hadn't solved anything for Don, but somehow it had been almost the permission he needed to put aside his shame and fear, to admit that he loved someone and couldn't manage to live without them. Billy had asked him if there was anything at all, besides them being related, that was giving him pause. When he couldn't think of a single thing, Billy had just huffed and said, "Well, you've got your answer then."

Charlie shifted again to curl up on his side at the edge of the bed. Tired of running, tired of fighting and tired of denying his true feelings, Don decided to finally let it all go.

He toed off his shoes and climbed on to the bed, lying down on his side behind Charlie and wrapping an arm lightly around his waist. Charlie shifted again, but this time moved subtly closer to Don's body behind him, as if unconsciously drawn to its warmth. After a few deep breaths, Don closed his eyes and fell asleep.

+

Don woke slowly, near sunset, and was able to make out Charlie's bedroom in the fading light.

Two thermoses were on the nightstand, both with labels on them: Hot Soup and Cold Juice, along with another note that read, 'At Phil's house - Call if you need anything'.

Don was still laying in the same position as before only now Charlie was turned to face him, coiled up against Don's front with his curls just under Don's chin.

Don leaned down and pressed a kiss among those curls, tightening the arm that was wrapped around his brother.

Charlie stirred and Don wasn't sure if he should wake him or try to slip away unnoticed, uncertain if Charlie was ready for the inevitable confrontation.

Before he could decide, Charlie's eyes fluttered open. Once he realized his situation, he looked up, confused. "Don?"

"I'm right here, buddy," Don said kindly, brushing an errant curl from Charlie's forehead.

"I... I don't understand," Charlie managed, still groggy from sleep.

"Listen to me," Don said quietly. "I was wrong. I treated you badly. I lied to you and I rejected you when you were brave enough to face what I couldn't. I never meant those horrible things I said to you. I do want you and I'm so sorry I ever made you think otherwise. I know I don't deserve for you to forgive me, but I miss you and not having you in my life is killing me, just like it's been killing you to stay away from me. Neither of us has to hurt anymore. Please come back to me. Please give me another chance." He laid a soft kiss on his brother's forehead. "I love you," he whispered. "Please forgive me."

A tiny sound escaped Charlie's lips, a barely audible cry filled with the pain of months of suffering, and it hit Don squarely in the chest. Don could only press Charlie closer to him, as he endured the echoes of the crushing blow he'd dealt.

"If I could take it all back, I would in a heartbeat. If I could take the pain away and carry it the rest of my life, I would do it. I just don't know how to make it stop hurting for you." Don could feel Charlie trembling silently in his arms and just tried to be patient with him, stroking his back gently and whispering encouraging words until he regained his composure.

When Charlie finally looked up at him, his ever expressive face contained a myriad of emotions, not all of which Don could recognize. The one thing he did see was the shine in his brother's eyes that had disappeared the night Don sent him away.

"I want so badly to believe you." Charlie's voice was so tiny Don almost didn't hear him.

"I know," Don said sadly. "I broke your trust in me and it'll take some time to earn it back. But I promise, I'm for real and I'll do anything in my power to convince you that I'm here for you." He laid a hand on Charlie's cheek and this time he leaned into the touch, closing his eyes slightly as he was drawn to the warmth of Don's caress. "Let me show you," Don said quietly.

Charlie opened his eyes and looked at Don, his gaze filled with love, sadness and fear. Don slowly lowered his face, giving his brother plenty of time to pull away, and when he didn't, he pressed their lips together gently.

That small act was like the planting of a seed and Charlie responded as it took hold in him, grew and blossomed. He returned the kiss tentatively at first, then slipped his arms around Don to pull him closer, finally opening his mouth to Don's tongue as it sought entrance, relaxing into the sublime pleasure of the intimacy he'd been longing for.

When the kiss finally ended, Charlie looked up at Don, eyes questioning as he asked, "When? How? What happened?"

"None of that matters now," Don said, lovingly caressing his brother's curls. "I got my wake up call when you collapsed and I got some good advice from a friend that confirmed what I already knew in my heart - that nothing was worth losing you over. Nothing was more important than the love we had and that I hope we can have again."

"That we have still," Charlie corrected him, punctuating his statement with a soft kiss. "I never stopped loving you and I know deep down you never did either."

"No, I never did," Don agreed. "I just convinced myself we were better off apart, that you were safe from me and that was what mattered."

Charlie let out a sound of protest, but Don just laid a finger on his lips. "I know. I was stupid and wrong and that's all behind us now. I just want to focus on you now. On us..."

Don ran his hands over Charlie's bare skin, enjoying the softness despite how thin he'd become.

"Don, I’m um..." Charlie seemed like he was having a hard time expressing himself. "We probably shouldn't..."

"Shh..." Don stopped him. "There's plenty of time for that later. Right now I just want to kiss you and hold you in my arms and help you get healthy again, okay?"

Charlie smiled. "I'd like that," he said, almost shyly.

"Good," Don said. "So your first step is managing to keep some more food down so you can gain back the weight you lost. Think you can do that for me?"

Charlie nodded. "I can now."

"Glad to hear it." Don leaned down and pulled Charlie into another long kiss, one he poured all of his love and affection into, trying to say without words all that he wanted his brother to understand.

"Mmm..." Charlie said as they came up for air, face relaxing into a contented smile. "That's a much better cure-all than chicken soup."

Don chuckled. "Well, I'll just have to up your dosage then," he teased. "But you're not off the hook for the soup. Now you have to eat something for me, can you do that?"

Don helped Charlie sit up, then looked at him for an answer, finding only a happy grin on his face.

"I think if you asked me to, I could fly."

+

"I'm proud of you, buddy."

Charlie laughed. "Don, I spent a lifetime craving hearing you say you were proud of me, but I never thought it'd be for something as banal as finishing a bowl of soup!"

Don mussed his brother's hair playfully. "You know what I mean."

"Yeah. Me, I'll just be happy if I can keep it down."

"Think positive," Don said, putting the dishes aside.

"Well, what I'm actually thinking about is that I need to wash my hair, but I guess that's going to have to wait."

"Why?"

Charlie looked uncomfortable, but Don didn't let it go. He raised his eyebrows to show he was still waiting for an answer and Charlie sighed, looking a little embarrassed.

"It's just, my hair's a bitch to wash. It takes forever to get the shampoo all through my hair and to rinse it. You, with your short hair, have no idea. Since I got out of the hospital, I... I don't really have the strength for it. I tried to do it myself, but Dad had to finish the job for me. As it is, those microwaveable rinseless sponge bath kits the hospital gave me to take home are way easier and faster than taking a real bath, so I haven't even rinsed out my hair for a few days."

"Well then, if you want to take a bath, I'll wash your hair for you," Don offered kindly.

"Seriously?" Charlie asked, a bit hopeful. "You'd do that for me?"

"Why wouldn't I?" Don shrugged. "Heck, I changed your diapers when you were a baby, so why would I mind?"

"Now that's a visual I don't ever want running through my head again, thank you very much," Charlie said with a mock shudder.

"Okay, forget I mentioned it!" Don laughed. "I'll go draw you a bath. It'll be relaxing and you can go right to sleep afterwards."

"What if I don't want to go right to sleep afterwards?" Charlie asked softly, reaching for Don's hand.

Don raised Charlie's hand to his mouth and kissed it. "You won't want to, but you'll be all tired out. Don't worry. I'm not going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight. I'll still love you tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that."

Don leaned down and placed a soft kiss on Charlie's forehead. "I'm going to go fill up the tub. You relax and I'll come get you when it's ready."

Charlie curled up on the bed and closed his eyes. He had such a sweet and happy smile on his face, Don hated to leave him. Part of him wanted to just wrap himself around Charlie and stay with him, but he knew there would be plenty of nights for that in the future.

For now, there was something he could do for his brother and he was going to do it.

+

Don led him into the bathroom slowly, pausing when Charlie felt too dizzy to go on. Don kept both arms around him, ready to hold him up if he should weaken and fall. Charlie leaned heavily on him, but made it all the way without incident.

Don got him sitting down on the chair next to the tub, then closed and locked the door behind them.

"Okay, let's get those pajama bottoms off and get you into the tub."

"This is kind of embarrassing," Charlie mumbled.

"Well, I'll just have to find a way to distract you and make it appealing instead." Don took Charlie's face in his hands and kissed him, before turning away to check on the water.

"I'm just so much thinner than you now," Charlie complained. "I look practically skeletal in comparison."

"Well, there's your motivation for eating more. As for comparison, I'm much furrier than you. In fact, I should take this off so I don't get it all wet." Don pulled off his t-shirt and hung it up behind the door.

"I like that you're furry," Charlie said in a low voice. He let the fingers of one hand drift through the hair on Don's belly, dragging them up to run through the hair on his chest.

"Now you're trying to distract me. Come on." Don helped Charlie stand up again so he could slip his pajama bottoms off and step into the half full tub. Once Charlie was seated in the warm water, Don reached for the faucets to adjust the temperature. "Hotter? Cooler?"

"Hot's nice. I can handle it."

Don filled the tub almost the rest of the way as Charlie relaxed into the soothing heat.

"Okay, hair first before you get too tired on me." Don switched to the handheld shower, set the temperature and doused Charlie's hair, careful to keep the water off his face. He turned off the shower and set it aside. "Where's your shampoo?"

Charlie pointed it out and Don poured some into his palm.

"Oh, you're going to need way more than that!"

"That's like twice what I use. Is this where you tell me that you have exponentially more hair than I do?" he chuckled.

"Just more," Charlie said, chuckling as well. "Double that amount and then add more as you need it."

Don started to work the shampoo through Charlie's hair methodically at first, but once he saw how relaxed it was making him, he made a special effort to massage his scalp gently and lather his hair slowly so he'd enjoy it more.

"You still with me?"

"Mmm..."

"I'll take it that's a yes?"

"Yes..."

"You know I think you might have gone too long between shampoos. I may have to lather you up a second time."

Charlie smiled. "I'm not complaining."

+

Once his hair was clean and rinsed, the tub was filled with residual bubbles from the shampoo, and Charlie didn't seem to be as uncomfortable now that less of his frail frame was visible.

"Now comes the good part," Don said. He picked up the liquid soap and the bath sponge and Charlie put out his hands for them.

"I can do this myself."

"What? And rob me of my reward for doing your hair?" Don teased. "You're tired already, I can tell. Besides, it'll feel good, I promise."

Charlie put his hands back down and Don lathered up the sponge liberally.

"Just relax," he said softly.

He ran the sponge slowly over Charlie's neck area, then worked his way down to his shoulders. He lifted one arm out of the water and soaped it up all the way to the fingers, gently massaging with his free hand as he moved over his body.

The other arm came next, then his chest and back. He closed his eyes and leaned forward so Don could reach his back. Leaning forward made Charlie waver slightly and he had to put out a hand to brace himself. Don quickly put both arms around him to hold him up. "Steady..." he whispered. "You're all right." After a moment, Charlie nodded and Don released him carefully. "Here, lay back so I can do your legs without you slipping." Don guided him against the backrest then reached into the water to pull out a leg to soap up.

Even with all the weight he'd lost, the toned muscles from years of bicycle riding hadn't completely atrophied and Don enjoyed running his hands over Charlie's well-sculpted calf and thigh.

"I think that leg's plenty clean, Don," Charlie joshed.

"Hey, I did say this was my reward, right? Maybe I have a thing for your legs."

Charlie grinned. "Well then, take your time with them."

Don spent an equal amount of time washing the other leg, running his hands over it sensually, but taking care not to go too high up his thigh.

Once he lowered it back in the water, Charlie reached for the soap. "I want to wash my face," he explained, when Don balked.

He put the soap and sponge down and waited, watching carefully for signs of any instability, as Charlie soaped up and rinsed his face.

"Can you get my robe from my room for me?"

"I'm afraid to leave you alone," Don admitted.

"I'll talk the whole time. That way you'll know I'm not drowning or something. Please?"

"Okay, I'll be right back."

Don unlocked the door as Charlie began to rattle off a list of numbers. Don chuckled to himself. What did he expect Charlie to say?

He looked around the room and finally found the robe under a pile of clothing on a chair. He quickly turned down Charlie's bed and brought the robe into the bathroom. The sponge was rinsed and put away, as was the soap. Don understood and didn't say anything.

"You ready to get out?"

"Just a few minutes more. It feels so good to be warm."

"Then let's splurge and heat the water back up a bit."

Don let the tub drain until the water level had gone down a couple of inches, then refilled the tub with hot water.

"Ahh... Feels good."

Don reached in and plucked the hand closest to him from the water.

"Are my fingers getting all pruney?"

"Not quite yet," Don answered, examining them. He brushed the pad of Charlie's index finger over his lower lip, as Charlie stared at him. Locking eyes with his brother, Don took the finger into his mouth and sucked on it gently.

Charlie drew in a quick but tiny breath and his gaze never wavered as Don slid the finger out of his mouth and sucked the next one in, treating each finger the same in turn. He finished by placing a kiss in the center of his palm.

"I have a whole other hand," Charlie said, meekly but hopefully.

"That's right, you do," Don said, playing along. "But it's all the way over there." He leaned over the tub, but instead of reaching across for his hand, he turned and lowered his mouth to Charlie's.

His brother's warm wet arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer as the kiss deepened. Don put one hand on the other side of the tub to steady himself and dipped the other into the water to curl around Charlie's back, pulling him closer.

"You know I'm half tempted to crawl in there with you," Don murmured, licking his way down Charlie's neck.

"Patience..." Charlie whispered. "We have all the time in the world now."

"True," Don said, tearing himself away despite his burgeoning desire. "And you don't have all the energy in the world so..." He reached over to grab a towel. "Time to get you to bed."

Don efficiently got Charlie out of the tub, dried off and almost got his robe entirely on him before Charlie started to crumble.

"Hey, hey..." Don scooped him up in his arms before he could fall too far. "See, I thought you were pushing it a bit too far."

"I'm sorry."

Don could hear the note of exhaustion in Charlie's voice. Despite how much they'd enjoyed this time together, he couldn't hide how much it had taken out of him.

"Let's just get you to bed."

Don carried him out of the bathroom and laid him on his bed, tying the robe closed for him.

Charlie curled up on his side, pulling a pillow beneath his damp curls. "You'll stay for a while?"

"Of course. Don't forget I've been living here since we brought you home from the hospital."

"I meant in my room."

"Sure." Don closed and locked the door and lay down behind Charlie, wrapping himself around him.

"Thanks for the bath, it was nice."

"You're welcome. Anything I can do for you, just ask."

"Make me forget the last three months?"

Don bit his lip, trying to hold back the painful sound that almost escaped him. He was glad Charlie couldn't see the guilt and sorrow on his face, and just tightened his hold around his waist.

"I'll do everything I can, I swear."

+

Everything about the night looked normal. Don had gone back to work, Charlie had gone back to work, they were enjoying a new movie on TV at Don's apartment and the remains of their Chinese takeout dinner were littered all over the coffee table.

Don knew there was nothing normal about that night though. Charlie hadn't been in his apartment since they fought, he'd barely been back to work a week and had been slow in regaining the weight he'd lost, even though his overall health had improved greatly after he and Don had first talked.

Don had let their father know if they had a few beers he'd have Charlie crash at his place for the night, yet he'd not even opened one the whole evening.

He still wasn't sure if Charlie was ready or not, but he wanted to be fully present for him regardless.

They'd sat together on the couch, just close enough that it was over the line of what brothers would be expected to do, but not much more. Charlie had laid his head on Don's shoulder and let his hand rest on Don's thigh. Don had played with Charlie's hair and pressed a kiss into the dark curls from time to time.

When the movie ended, Don picked up the remote and started flipping through the channels. He stopped himself a few seconds in and simply handed the remote to Charlie. "Here," he said. "You find something for us to watch."

Charlie raised an eyebrow at him, but took the remote before breaking out in a wicked grin. "Oh, you'll regret doing this for sure."

Suddenly nervous, Don just looked at him. "Why?"

Charlie changed the channel to a cooking show and Don groaned when he saw whose it was. "Emeril? I hate that guy! He's so annoying!"

"He makes good food!" Charlie countered, still grinning.

"His voice gets on my nerves, it's so grating! And what's with all that 'Bam!' crap? Come on, there's got to be something else on."

Don reached for the remote, but Charlie pulled it away, turning off the TV at the same time. He wrapped his body around the remote and pulled away from Don, teasingly. "You want it? Come and get it!"

Don pretended like he was going for the remote, but instead grabbed Charlie by the waist and dragged him down on top of him, pulling him into a kiss.

Charlie melted into the kiss and let his body relax into Don's, dropping the remote on the floor so he had both hands free to explore his brother's body. Don slipped both his hands into Charlie's loose fitting jeans, cupping and kneading his ass.

A groan of desire escaped Charlie and Don ate it up, using his hands to move their hips against each other, reveling in the heat generated by the rubbing of their bodies.

"Fuck, yes," Charlie moaned. "Please don't make me wait any longer." They shifted to lie on their sides, both rushing to undo the other's pants. Charlie tore off his own t-shirt and managed to get Don out of his as well.

They managed to get their pants and boxers down to their knees before Charlie rolled on top of Don again, gasping at the feel of their cocks lined up beside each other.

Don grasped his ass tightly and moved Charlie up and down against him, feeling desire wash over him at how good it felt to finally be skin to skin. Charlie panted heavily into Don's neck, as little sounds of pleasure escaped him.

"Yes, yes," fell from Don's lips repeatedly, as he marveled at the perfection of their bodies fitting together, gliding against each other.

Charlie grasped Don's biceps, fingers cutting into him tightly as he pulled them even faster in their frenetic efforts at friction.

Don stopped suddenly, but before Charlie could protest, he flipped them so that Charlie was on bottom and Don was grinding against him as he captured his mouth in a lustful kiss.

Charlie turned his body over to his brother and almost immediately began to shudder with blissful release, hearing his wordless moan start to fade as Don's began.

They lay there for a moment, breathless, Charlie oddly comforted by the weight of Don on top of him. He wrapped his arms around his brother hoping to encourage him not to move off of him right away.

"I'm not too heavy for you?" Don worried.

"No, you're perfect," Charlie assured him. "It feels good to feel your weight on me. You feel solid...real."

"I am real." Don kissed him lightly on the neck, but didn't move.

"I know," Charlie said softly. "This..." He started to speak, but then stopped.

"What?"

"I shouldn't say it."

"You can say anything to me, you know that."

"Sure, but timing matters. Now's not the best time."

Don slipped off to the side and grabbed his t-shirt from the floor to clean both of them up. He laid a kiss on Charlie's abdomen when he was done. "How about now? Will you tell me now?"

Charlie looked uncomfortable. "That was how it could have been the first time," he said quietly.

Don nodded. "I know. But since I can't go back in time and kick some sense into myself, I have to just let that go and move on."

Charlie was thoughtful for a few seconds. "Agreed," he said.

"So that means we focus on the here and now, and right now a nice hot shower and bed sounds good to me."

Charlie smiled. "That sounds good to me as well."

Rather than pull them back up, Don simply pushed his pants and boxers the rest of the way off, stood up, then held out his hand for Charlie who did the same.

Charlie slid his hands up his brother's bare chest as Don kissed him, enveloping him in his arms, pressing their naked bodies together, tongues dancing in a duet of passion and playfulness.

When Charlie wavered slightly, Don pulled back suddenly, concern creasing his brow. "Are you okay? Are you dizzy again? Do you need to sit down?"

Charlie just smiled, slipping his arms around Don's waist. "I'm fine. I haven't had any dizzy spells for two weeks now and I feel strong. Don't worry."

"You felt like you were unsteady on your feet," Don said, not so easily convinced.

"That was more 'your kisses make me weak in the knees' than residual dizziness," Charlie assured him.

"Really?"

"Really."

"You're sure?"

Charlie let out a sigh of frustration. "What do I have to do to prove it to you?"

"Walk to the bathroom while I watch to make sure you can do it on your own?"

"You sure that's not an excuse to check out my ass?" Charlie teased.

Don laughed. "Hey, do you really think me seeing you naked is going to be that rare of an occurrence from now on?"

"Good point!" Charlie chuckled. He placed a soft kiss on Don's chest. "I promise I'm okay. We waited until I was stronger for a reason, but we don't have to wait any longer."

"I'm glad to hear it, because my bed has been calling to me all night," Don said in a low voice.

"Oh, really?" Charlie replied, in a low rumble of his own. "Can't wait to get me into bed, huh?"

"Well, I figure I have a lot of making up to do for all I put you though and tonight," he leaned in and swirled his tongue around inside Charlie's ear before whispering, "I fully intend on pleasuring you until you can't stand it anymore and you beg me to take you."

Charlie's heart rate quickened along with his breathing. "Well," he said, swallowing hard. "That certainly sounds promising."

Don took Charlie's face in his hands and kissed him deeply, expressing all the love and longing inside of him.

"I promise you, it'll be a night to remember."

Charlie's eyes reflected the love he saw in the face before him.

"I'm sure it will be," he whispered. "I trust you."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 11th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
Confession
I originally wrote the prologue for this fic as a standalone for the Resolutions challenge at numb3rsflashfic. I got beta feedback that I couldn't stop it there, so I wrote more. And more. And more. Suddenly I had 24 pages of fic. I got more good beta comments and at the bottom of one of them, beta red_tanger wrote (in tiny letters) "Charlie's POV?"

I was sunk.

Suddenly my little flash fic grew a 24 page *companion* fic called Ash and Pines and now Conflict and Resolutions was a series/universe.

I should have known that I can't write anything these days without it turning into a series. /sigh/

Thank you to those who offered encouragement, suggestions and beta reading: byrons_brain (who made me add the bath scene), monkeyfun1 (who made me listen to the bath suggestion), melissima, memprime and red_tanger (who not only inspired the whole second fic but also gave tons of great beta comments as well!)

Ash and Pines will be posted very soon, so stay tuned for the story of Don and Charlie's estrangement and reconnection told from Charlie's POV, thanks to red_tanger. ;-)

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
Karen: Charlie (Numb3rs)byrons_brain on February 11th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
::hugs you:: this story is even better on the re-read....
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Thanks. This one was painful to get out, but I'm so relieved that it is. Now, if I could just get Ash and Pines out...

-Emma
Cassáncassanlynx on February 11th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)
A lovely new story. :) I adore Billy's reaction in this one. ::snuggles him:: He might not be my favourite character, but here he's really deserved his place!
Apart from that I'd have loved to kick Don and cuddle Charlie for most parts of the story, but you can imagine that. ;)
I'm really glad you took up Karen's suggestion. I love the bathing scene. - But then, I'm obsessed with seeing Charlie's curls get wet. They are SO pretty like that. :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. I'm kind of surprised people focused on Billy since he's only a tiny part of it, but it's nice that people like my Billy. ;-) In Ash and Pines, Larry plays Billy's counterpart (which is obvious) but I think I like Billy's scene more.

Apart from that I'd have loved to kick Don and cuddle Charlie for most parts of the story, but you can imagine that.

Well that's its raison d'etre. ;-) Don supplies the Hurt and Charlie gets the Comfort. Have to have angst or it's not H/C fic, you know?

The bath scene is just really long, and I worried it would drag the rest of the fic down. There's an analogous scene in Ash and Pines though (it's not as long I don't think but it's similar in that it's longer and more detailed than the rest of the fic) so I let it stand.

Besides, when that many betas gang up on you for something you tend to listen to them. ;-)

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 10:51 am (UTC)
/makes and polishes SEQ badge for Sequel Enabling Queen red_tanger/
/puts a big red bow on the badge/
/offers badge to red_tanger with a curtsy/

Another Billy fan! Love me, love my pan bread Billy! I'm beginning to be glad I decided to let each brother confide in one other person and that I chose Billy for Don's confidant.

Don't take that beta hat off for *too* long though... You're way too good at it and I *need* you to beta more for me!

Thanks,

Emma
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
Hmm... I get a response to this but not to your Birthday one?
/checks email/
/checks LJ/
/wonders what happened/

Yes, it's good to take the hat off when you're ready to just read and enjoy fic. I'm just making sure you don't misplace it with all the celebrating. ;-)

Happy Birthday!

-Emma
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 11:35 am (UTC)
And you have a reply, go look you greedy woman.

Already did! Now *you* go look! :-P

Yes, no bad jokes, even though as Birthday!Girl you are allowed. ONE. ;-)

Hee!

-Emma
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad. /smiles/

Now I really must head off to bed, seeing as how it's 4AM over here.

/hopes to dream and wake up with a ficcy present from her muse/

-Emma
cat_willow (Jan)cat_willow on February 11th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Poor, poor Charlie! Poor, misguided Don! Wonderful resolution (even if it did require a half-dead Charlie)! Lovely bath scene! Squee the curls! (God, did I sympathize with the dirty hair feeling. Bleh!)

There's *more*? *settling down in front of Friends Page waiting for promised sequel*

*hitting refresh button repeatedly*
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 10:58 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you liked it, especially the bath scene. I'm glad I got talked into adding it.

I personally love half-dead Charlie! It's the ultimate H/C to include collapses, ambulances and hospitals! And there's *more* in Ash and Pines! (It'll be up soon... Very soon...)

IMHO, Charlie's hair is often greasy looking on the show so I figured the dirty hair angle would ring pretty true for people. The bath couldn't be too sensual with Charlie in such a weakened state, but the idea of washing someone's hair fits in with Don taking care of him *and* doing a sensual act.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
cat_willow (Jan)cat_willow on February 12th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
It's the ultimate H/C to include collapses, ambulances and hospitals!

And starving yourself to death for your lover? Priceless!

IMHO, Charlie's hair is often greasy looking on the show...

What is *up* with that? Some college culture thing? His character is too old to be a kid. *?*

the idea of washing someone's hair fits in with Don taking care of him *and* doing a sensual act.

An act that can be repeated over and over and....

I also liked the idea of Charlie having to educate Don about how much shampoo it really takes to clean that mop. Hey, maybe Charlie's on a budget and is cutting back on toiletries! Like razor blades! *g*
melissimamelissima on February 11th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Achingly gorgeous. I hate to see Charlie hurt, but Don does such a great job of making amends! This one just sticks with me, and sunset streaming into my bedroom makes me smile a little sadly, thinking of them curled up on Charlie's bed as Alan creeps in with soup.

Thank you.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)
Achingly gorgeous.

Wow, that's one of the nicest compliments I've gotten. Thank you. (It's almost written better than fic tends to be!)

FWIW, I share that visual of the sunset, the boys asleep and Alan. I wondered if people would freak out at me having Alan come in while they're sleeping on the bed, but to me it felt sweet for Alan to bring soup and juice and see his sons curled up together after being estranged for so long. I could even imagine him getting a bit teary or choked up, since I'm sure he was hurt by Charlie leaving him as well. I think it would hurt any parent to have their two kids not talk for months, especially if one wasted away and ended up in the hospital.

I imagine that's why he leaves for the evening, figuring they need time alone to work things out.

He just doesn't get the full extent of it...

Thanks,

Emma
melissimamelissima on February 12th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
I am just sure Alan would've seen it as a throwback to the days when Charlie was really little, and Don cuddled him. He definitely teared up in my head.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 13th, 2006 11:18 am (UTC)
Ah, yes. Nice to see we're on the same page...
You not mai best fren: Loveorlisheart on February 12th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
It doesn't matter how many times I read this, it's still amazing. :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. It's one that I like rereading myself.

Actually, I cheat and read the combined Conflict and Resolutions melded with Ash and Pines in chronological order by chapter.
(I'm the author. I can do that.) ;-)

Of course the initials of that combined fic make me laugh, but it's certainly not indicative of the *quality* of the combined fic. /grins/

Thanks,

Emma
The Girl with the Dark Side!scots_rock on February 20th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
"Heck, I changed your diapers when you were a baby, so why would I mind?"

"Now that's a visual I don't ever want running through my head again, thank you very much," Charlie said with a mock shudder.


I'm not going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight.


"I have a whole other hand," Charlie said, meekly but hopefully.



XD These lines made me laugh really hard! I love this fic, i will save it to my pc so i can re-read it any time. oh, i do love angsty, fluffy and happy-ednings fics! i can't resist them! you put that all really well together! SO, now I#m gonna check out charlie pov... *eye brows*
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on April 13th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to read such a long fic.

Even though this was an angsty fic the Brothers Eppes always have the capacity for humor and I love getting practice writing their dialogue.

I'm glad you enjoyed this part.

-Emma


boymommytotwo: numb3rs eppes brosboymommytotwo on March 4th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
i l-o-v-e finding new authors to indulge myself on!
i know i said this last time, but i haven't been a don/charlie solo fan much yet. i sort of thought that was "the line" for me... them in a threesome+, yeah, ok, but 1:1? ewwww... and you make me eat those thoughts/words/ideas and drool all over the eppes bros. i LOVE your fic!

i do like going back and reading forward, so i catch any nuances you develop in your own story. i'm wondering if you ever _do_ get to writing someone actually _finding_ don/charlie and them dealing with the public outcry or outrage or whathaveyou. ???

you're a very talented writer and i've enjoyed everything i've come across so far. personally, i enjoy the longer so it can just ravish me all over for longer and longer and longer!!!

mmmmm.... thank you - memming...
Maria: Milo blackjacketthepuppeteer on January 31st, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
This fic = love :D