Chapter 1: Lick
If he licked his lips like that again, David would not be responsible for his actions. Charlie was licking and tasting and sliding his tongue round and round and if he did it one more time David was going to do something incredibly stupid in front of Don and God and everybody.
Charlie swirled his tongue around the top of the popsicle again, licking, smearing red across his bottom lip. David stood up so suddenly Colby startled and choked on his own popsicle. David practically ran to the nearest bathroom.
Charlie continued licking his popsicle, grinning at David's retreating back.
Chapter 2: Valentine
David can't help but wonder about the strange Valentine's Day gifts Colby keeps getting.
Originally written for N100's February '10 Rewind prompts: Classic, Chocolate, Flowers, and Gift
The sun was shining, and David was definitely glad he lived in LA, and not somewhere that required a snow shovel. It was a rare Sunday off from work and he had nothing to do. As David wondered if asking Colby if he was free on Valentine's was weird or not, his phone rang.
And there went his day off.
When David arrived at the office, he noticed a shiny, red-wrapped gift on Colby's desk. Not one to allow mysterious gifts to go unnoticed, David investigated. The carefully wrapped package had been carefully opened to reveal a penguin.
A Valentine's penguin?
As the day wore on, David started to hope that some time in the next ten minutes Charlie or Amita or, hell, anyone would miraculously come up with a solution. Charlie and Amita, however, seemed to think that working on math was a perfectly valid way to spend Valentine's together. Don wasn't much help, calling Robin to say, “Sorry, not much longer.”
And then their was Colby. A strangely happy and tight-lipped Colby. After a few hours, a bouquet of flowers arrived for Colby. They weren't roses, though. They were daisies.
Who sends penguins and daisies on Valentine's Day?
While sifting through paperwork and ignoring the math happening in the conference room, David couldn't help but notice when the third delivery arrived. David wasn't sure if he was worried about Colby being stalked or jealous of Colby's new girlfriend. Colby thanked the delivery guy and unwrapped the shiny red paper.
“Junior mints?” David was starting to question the mental state of Colby's mystery girlfriend.
Colby just smiled, “I love junior mints.” David knew that- they always argued about candy at the movies.
As they left that evening, David watched Colby carefully gather up his gifts, smiling happily.
When Colby opened his apartment door he heard and smelled someone cooking in his kitchen. The radio was playing AC/DC and there was Ian, apron and all, pulling out a dish of enchiladas from the oven. Colby paused, just a second, to admire the view.
Without turning, Ian observed, “It's not polite to stare, y'know.”
“Thank you for the gifts, they made the day go by faster,” Colby said, ignoring Ian's comment.
“Night's still young. Come have dinner.”
Ian grinned, “Would you rather have the classic Italian dinner for two?”
“Classic is overrated.”
Chapter 3: Hurt-Break-Heal
A series events spanning ten years, leading Don from one thing to another. (implied Don/Billy, hint of Don/Colby)
Originally written for N100 prompts: Hurt, Break, Heal.
They had tracked the perp for days now. Don glanced at Billy, still harboring some uncertainty about cornering an unstable criminal at a busy motel. Billy held his gaze, then nodded again towards the motel, as if to say, this is the only way. The two agents moved forward.
When the perp grabbed the motel manager Don knew that things could only end badly. Don glanced at Billy, questioning. Billy gave Don a look that seemed to say, this is the way things are sometimes. Don inhaled. The gunshot echoed. Don walked away unharmed, but for weeks the pain linger.
Marcus Taylor had been charged and convicted of manslaughter over two years ago. Yet Don was here, sitting in a courtroom watching another appeal. Distracted, Don caught a flash of red out of the corner of his eye. Turning, Don's gaze snagged on too-long legs in too-tight jeans, thumbs hooked in belt-loops, scruffy red stubble and blue eyes. Eyes that said, so here we are. Again.
Don wasn't proud about how he and Billy had parted ways, but it still made his heart break to see any uncertainty in his ex-partner. Eyes locked, again: I'm sorry it ended like this.
One of the things that Don had always admired about Colby was his ability to not ask questions. Growing up with Charlie taught Don to appreciate that rare talent. So when Don asked Colby to drive him to evidence, he was knew that Colby wouldn't ask why, despite his interest.
Later, when Colby found him in the break-room, cleaning ten-year-old blood off of a pocket-watch, Colby offered company without conditions. Their eyes met, and Don could see what Colby wouldn't put in words: If you wanna talk, we can. Don wondered if maybe he was starting to heal after all.
Chapter 4: Influencing Everything
It was one of those things that they never talked about.
Could be read as Eppescest or Gen.
Originally written for N100 prompt: Hover.
My original A/N read: If you're wearing slash goggles, the mentioned topic Don and Charlie never discuss will be vastly different than without said goggles.
The original "thing they never talk about" was Don's feelings about having a genius brother, and Charlie thinking that he's just a tag-along little brother that Don doesn't want around.
And then I re-read it. It might as well have a blinking, neon sign that says: EPPESCEST and UST here.
I meant to write gen, and now I have 'cest. *shrugs*
It was one of those things they never talked about, yet it was right there, hanging over them- influencing every move, every word, every look. Charlie knew that he got caught up in the math, but he couldn't escape it forever. They'd be working, talking, having dinner, arguing, watching a game, whatever, and then -wham- it would be right there. Don had told him that Bradford suggested that they talk about it together in therapy. It would be a great way to get everything out into the open. They never did go to therapy. They never talked about it, either.
Chapter 5: Honesty, etc.
Don never really could say no to Charlie. Even when he thinks he should. (Eppescest)
Originally written for N100 prompts: Honesty, Ethics, Integrity, and Strength.
Don knew the minute that Charlie showed up on his doorstep, wearing painted-on jeans and a vintage t-shirt that it was going to be one of those nights. Sometime during Charlie's college days, Charlie had picked up the peculiar habit of showing up on Don's doorstep, completely unannounced, ready for Don to entertain him. The night usually started with something innocuous like a movie, but it always ended the same way-- with Charlie curled up, content, in Don's bed. Don mock-hassled Charlie afterwards, but if Don were honest with himself, he didn't really mind Charlie's unexpected visits.
Some days, as Charlie slept next to him, Don thought about what they did, and just how wrong it was. Some days, Don could rationalize it- they were both consenting adults who loved each other and chose to show that affection physically. Other days he couldn't get past one irrefutable fact- Charlie was his brother. Was he hurting Charlie? Don didn't think he was even capable of that. Was Charlie an unwilling participant? Never, Charlie was always the instigator of their nights together.
Some days, though, Don knew that when it came to Charlie, he always did the right thing.
In the early hours of their mornings after, when Charlie was barely awake and his brain was quieted from a good nights sleep, mumbling nonsensically about various topics, that Don was at his most content. It was times like these that Don reveled in their connection. He and Charlie weren't just brothers or lovers or friends, they were a complex, mind-boggling combination of all three.
It was here, in the early morning calm, with Charlie softly explaining that he could prove that one plus one was greater than two, that Don knew that nothing could ever tear them apart.
Don was quite aware of how well he and Charlie complemented each other. Charlie was loquacious and friendly where Don was laconic and brusque. Don was decisive and self-assured where Charlie was hesitant and less confident. They were each others strengths and weaknesses. Don knew that he could always rely on Charlie for things he couldn't quite do by himself. Don couldn't say no to being with Charlie, even though he thought he really should sometimes.
Don knew that he didn't have the strength to let go. He also knew that Charlie had the strength to hold them together.