Charlie shuddered in the empty cell. It's been hours, but already the feeling of claustrophia was setting in. He should just be thankful it was a solitary cell. He knew Don had that set up on purpose, for his protection until the situation got sorted out on Monday. He was just glad it was Saturday, almost done with this hellish weekend that he wanted to erase from memory. That's why he was unnerved when a guard went up and grinned at him.
"Eppes!" The guard barked, banging the stick on the cell bars. Charlie jumped.
"Y...yeah?" God they treated these prisoners like animals!
"No room for solitary, got bigger criminals that need more protecting than you," snarled the guard.
Charlies's eyes widened. No more solitary cell.
"Please," he begged, knowing full well actual jail would kill him. "I...why are you doing this?"
"Like I said, no more room for special treatment for geeks like you."
"If...if it's money I know a person-" Charlie said, fishing for help. Larry would be willing to spend some of his hard earned money for protection for Charlie, that much was for sure.
"Just shut the hell up and get moving before I lose my patience!"
"This is NOT losing your patience?" Charlie instantly regreted the smart retort he was so used to giving his family members. The guard, unamused, banged on the door- startling him, and dragged him out by his collar. He then shoved Charlie forward, causing the youngest Eppes to stumble.
"I'm sorry for that...it's just...you know I'm innocent, right?"
The guard laughed.
"Sure ya are. Everyone is."
Charlie became flustered, as he desperatly pleaded his case.
"No, realy, my brother...he's FBI, can vouch for me."
"Not until Monday," the guard said with a smirk. With that he pushed Charlie towards a large group tank. "Until then..."Charlie stared at the group that was in there. Large men, huge muscles and tats. Learing faces, looking at him like he was a piece of meat." Eppes swallowed.
"You're...you're not serious..." His voice had dropped to a whisper.
"Bet your ass I am, now git in!" Snarled the guard. He opened the door and shoved Charlie forward. Charlie backed to the edge of the bars, as the guard walkd away-laughing.
Charlie took deep breaths as he tried to take in his surroundings.
The men moved in closer to him.
Surely those stories he read about jail was exagerated...right? He shuddered as he gripped a bar behind him, and tried to calculate where to move. But there was no where to turn to,
Maybe reasonings with these...criminals...
"Aren't you a pretty boy?" One of them sneered with a toothy grin. Charlie felt weak in the stomach.
"Please...I don't want trouble."
The others laughed.
"Ain't he sweet," one of them chuckled. "Got manners, and everything."
"Lot more polite than the last fuck toy," agreed another. Charlie closed his eyes at the words.
"What's the matter, doll?" One of them sounded soft,a nd even rubbed his fingers gently on Charlie's cheek. "We really don't want to hurt you. Your face is far too pretty for that." More laughter.
"I'...I'm not gay." Charlie still couldn't open his eyes. He was trying to pretend this was some nightmare.
"We're not either," laughed the same voice. "We just need someone to help us out with our needs...you like helping people, hmm? What's your name, doll?"
Charlie swallowed, and jumped when the gentle hand smacked him.
"I SAID, what's your name?!"
"Charles...how nice. Charles..." Charlie HATED How the sonofabitch was drawling out his name, like in some romance novel.
"I...i'm going to be out of here on Monday."
Murmurs erupted around the crowd, murmurs of dissapointed. The same voice spoke up.
"It's okay, we can still have our fun today and tomorrow."
"There's been a mistake." Charlie was whispering now. "I'm innocent."
All of them laughed.
"Sure you are, you do look pretty innocent!" One of them joked, and Charlie shuddered at the implications of those words.
"Just don't fight us, doll, and you'll be fine,"the sweetingly silky voice purred. Charlie finally opened his eyes. The man speaking was around the same age as Don. His hair was long, and unkept. But he was way more muscular than anyone on the FBI-except for maybe Colby. And while his eyes were kinder than the others, there was a hint of meaness, and hardness, in them too. There was no way Charlie could fight them off, but he had to try.
God why couldn't Don be there like all those school fights? He knew he could always could always count on Don during those high school days, when the punks wanted to fight him. Now he was alone.
Still, he knew he couldn't live with himself if he didn't try to fight. He clinched his fists when the leader of the group, the one who kept on calling him doll, placed his hands on Charlie's shoulders. Charlie's body buckled, as he felt his knees bend to his horror.
"That's right, doll, know you're place." More laughter. Charlie knew he would have to act now, or else it would be too late. He swung his arm.
The next few minutes was a blur. The man was clearly startled, and beyond pissed, grabbed his arm, and twisted his hand. Charlie cried out in pain-much to his dismay of trying to hide his feelings. The others jumped in. He felt blows everywhere, but the twisting of the arm was what really got to him. The man finally let go, and Charlie collapsed in pain, clutching his arm. The kicks to the stomach continued, and the ripping of the clothes started. He closed his eyes, and curled into a ball, trying to protect himself, trying to make himself go away. This was it. This was the moment he was going to get raped, and...
"HEY!" A different guard shouted. "What the fuck?!" Charlie was never more relieved to hear a guard's voice than that moment. The doors were opened, and he felt people shoving each other. He then felt someone touch him, and gave a yelp.
"Whoa, easy, son, let's get you to the infirmary, okay?" The voice was infinitly kinder than the man who brought him in.
"You Charlie Eppes? Agent Eppes brother?"
Charlie managed to nod, and stifle back a sob.
"Shit, well you can spent the rest of your time in the infirmary, okay?" Charlie shuddered, and nodded. He let the man stand him up,and leaned on him. As he limped away, clutching his arm, Charlie wondered how the hell he would ever face Don, and especially his father again.
Don was still fuming at his brother's arrest. It was so fucking unfair! He was more than grateful for Robin for her help in freeing him, and settlign lose ends. She had made the other cops realize what a mistake to arrest Eppes, that someone had set his brother up, but who? Someone out for revenge? Shit, that could be anyone! He paced back and forth in his cubicle. The office was quiet, since it was a Saturday, but his team was there. He was grateful for Sinclaire, Granger, Reeves, and Warner, even if he rarely thanked them. Amita and Larry were at the colelge, also trying to find out who would want to hurt Charlie. Right then, all he had to do was wait-and that was something Don Eppes hated to do.
That was why he dove for the phone when it rang. He was eager for them to say he could do something to help Charlie.
"Agents Eppes here."
Reeves had looked up at the ring and nudged Granger and Sinclaire. They looked up, as well as Liz. Don had almost become unglued since Charlie's arrest, and they hoped this was good news. But they could tell by Don's face it wasn't.
Megan stood first, as Don slammed the phone down, panic in his eyes.
"Don, what happened?"
"Charlie was attacked in jail," he said as he threw on his jacket.
"What?!" Liz cried out in horror. She was still getting to know the youngest Eppes, but it honestly pained her to have anything happen to the young man.
"I thought he was in solitary!" David protested, furious on Charlie's behalf.
"Yeah, me, too," Granger chipped in, also showing fury. All of them had grown as protective over the young professor-almost as much as Don. Not that all of them would ever admit that, though.
"Yeah, so did I," snarled Don. "But some newbie Guard moved him to a group tank when some other big shot criminals with shitload more money came in."
"Fuck,"said Granger, knowing what all of them would know. Jail could kill a kid like Charlie.
"What happened?" David finally dared to ask.
"He got beaten up before the other guard heard commotion and broke it up. Charlie's in the infirmary now, away from prisoners."
"That's good," Megan said, trying to see the positive. "Right?"
Don's silence scared them.
"How bad is it, Don?" Liz finally asked.
Don swallowed, and stopped walking.
"They broke his arm, and some ribs but really it's his hands that's gonna be messed up the most for a while. His writing hand, at least. A guy crushed it when he was twisting Charlie's arms."
They stood there, letting the news sink in.
"Those sick fucks," breathed Colby, finally, anger seething in his eyes as he pictured the helpless younger Eppes, being beaten half to death.
"They..."Don shook his head, as tears threatened to escape. "The guard said his clothes were ripped. They were gonna try and rape him. But the guard stopped it, first."
"Oh my God," whispered Megan, with a sick look on her face. "Oh, Don, I'm so sorry."
Don shook his head bitterly.
"Shoulda been there to protect him."
"Don, you can't mean that," Sinclaire protested. He knew the unique bond between the brothers better than most.
"Seriously, Don," Megan said quickly. "There was nothing you could have done."
"Not true." Don looked dead serious at them. "If I was there I could have killed those fuckers." With that he stormed towards the elevator letting the words sink in his team, as they all looked at each other, knowing all full well he was telling the truth.