Title: Pass this by
Disclaimer: blah blah blah.
Summary: What was the text in the over-the-dinner-table subtext?
A/N: Short little bit of pseudo-fluff. Tag on 2.1 "Judgement Call"
Beta: Thank you so much to wasslara, you're a life saver! *hugs*
Title from #41 by Dave Matthews Band
"What the hell was that about?"
"Excuse me?" Charlie looked up from the dish he was washing, shooting Don a confused look. Don's jaw was clenched
and tension colored his body language.
Don raised his brow slightly, mimicking his little brother. "He saved that prosecutor, she's perfect, blah blah blah."
Don tossed Charlie a heavy look then looked away in agitation. Charlie thinned his lips, swallowing nervously. Charlie wordlessly
handed Don a scrubbed plate, glancing at him.
"Well, you like her. You haven't...done anything, um, about it." Charlie bit his lip, watching Don mechanically
take the dish from him.
"You know intimately why I haven't touched her." Charlie scratched the back of his head. He knew exactly what
he was doing. Over dinner, he wanted to get Don riled up enough to say something, to do something.
"I know, Don. I just." Charlie stilled, forming his thoughts. He dropped the sponge in the sink and turned towards
his brother. "It's so miserable, Donnie. We're both miserable." Charlie bit his lip and looked away. Don let out
a breath and set his towel down.
"Yeah, yeah. Buddy, I get it, I do. I just can't put myself through that. I can't put you through that, not anymore
than you already have been."
Don scrubbed his hand through his hair. It always came back to this, back to this thing that they just couldn't put behind
them but couldn't progress with either. It wasn't just that they were brothers, or that Don was an FBI agent. It was that
terrifying thought of putting each other through hell, through something resembling the Trelane's ordeal. The sniper case
from earlier in the year was close enough as far as Don was concerned.
“Anymore than you have to." Charlie ground out the echoed rationale like it was poisonous. "Why can't
we...if, by your estimation, we have to deal with all these factors as it is, why not just throw caution to the wind?"
Charlie shot Don an impatient look, the same look he issues him when Don just isn't grasping some concept. Don shook his head.
Definitely not grasping.
Charlie made a frustrated noise and walked forward, right into Don's personal space. He backed his brother up against
the counter and hooked his fingers into Don's belt loops.
"I'm willing to take my chances," Charlie whispered against Don's lips, pressing against him.
He slipped his eyes shut and kissed him, soft and gentle, hoping that maybe Don would realize how worth it this was. How
worth it he was. Don groaned in protest, but wrapped his arms around Charlie. He studied his brother's face as he kissed him,
observing the desperation, the desire. The love.
"Charlie, I--" Charlie rested his fingers over Don's lips.
"Donnie, please. It doesn't make any sense to say no." Charlie bit his lip. He moved his hand to frame Don's
face, brushing his thumb over Don's cheekbone. "Trust me," he whispered huskily, "trust what we have."
Don wrapped his arms around Charlie a little tighter. He wanted Charlie, he wanted what he was offering, he was just so
fearful of the consequences. He rested his forehead against Charlie's. If he couldn't trust Charlie, what difference did the
rest make? Squeezing his eyes shut, he nodded.
"Ok, buddy, ok," he murmured, pulling back and pressing soft kisses along his jaw. He thumbed Charlie's bottom
lip. "I trust you." Don smiled, tracing his fingers down a few of Charlie's curls. He stepped back shyly, returning
to the dishes.
Charlie followed his movements. As far as Charlie could see, things would be just fine.