Don stared off into space. It had happened fast. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, Charlie was dead. He closed his eyes, and remembered it like it had just happened, because to him-it did.
Charlie had been egging him to let him and Larry join Don and Megan. He was convinced they could offer more assistance on the field. That was just a bullshit excuse, in Don's mind. Charlie wanted a piece of the action, and Don wasn't afraid to let him know that Don knew what he was up to.
"So what if I want that adrenaline rush of catching the perp?" Charlie had demanded. "What's the worse that could happen? I could get in the way?"
"Yeah, and we could lose the guy thanks to you," Don shot back, knowing guilt was a great way to control Charlie. And a sick way. Funny to think of that being the worst thing that could happen. That line of accusation did the trick, though, and Charlie let it drop. But he did become super mopey, and mopey Charlie was one of the kinds of Charlies Don hated the most. So he caved.
GodDAMN it, if only he stuck to his principals than and not backed down, Charlie still might be alive. Don should have known better. He should have put up with mopey Charlie.
Charlie stuck around in the back seat with Colby during a stake out, promising to stay out of the way, while scribbling calcuations eagerly. Megan and Don had remained stoic until the perp was on the run.
That was when it happened so...FAST. Don had zeroed in on the running guy, with no other thoughts but to catch him. Megan and Colby were right behind him. Don had quickly ordered Charlie to stay in the car.
It was only when he tackled the perp did he realize it was some kind of ploy. He heard signs of a struggle from afar. He looked up as he straddled the asshole as he handcuffed him. His eyes widened. Megan and Colby had the same reaction when they looked up, too. Charlie had been drug out of the car by three thugs. The perp on the ground was laughing. Don ignored that, his eyes locked on his brother with horror. He then mouthed his name.
"Charlie!" He fled from the group, ignoring Megan and Colby's warning shouts. His glock was gripped in his hand, ready for use. He fired at the thugs, not giving a damn about protocal. That was his BROTHER after all, that those sonsofabitches were manhandling.
But he couldn't get there fast enough. One of them stabbed Charlie, and another shot him. It was the shot that jolted Don, almost more than the stabbing. He stared at his little brother, who's young and innocent eyes were widened in shock and pain. The thugs ran off. Don didn't care. He raced towards his baby brother and caught him as he fell.
"D...Don." Charlie breathed, his hands over his wounds.
"Don't...don't talk, Charlie," whispered Don, hoarsely. Megan and Colby had skidded to a breathless stop around them.
"Already did when I was running over here." Her voice was breathless, and yet couldn't hide the fear. Charlie had become like family to her. To all of them.
"Don..." Charlie rasped. His voice sounded so small, so scared. Don cursed himself as he took off his jacket to use as a pillow for Charlie's head.
"You're body's just gone into shock, Chuck," Don reassured him. He gripped Charlie's hand. "You're gonna be okay, you hear me? You...you're gonna be okay.
"We need to keep him warm." He could hear Colby speaking, and Don quickly nodded. The other two confinscated their own jackets without a protest, and wrapped it around Charlie's shivering body.
"Scared...Don't leave me, D...Don."
"I won't, but Chuck you gotta fight this." Don swallowed. "What's your favorite prime number, Chuck?"
"Don," Megan whispered. "I hardly think this is the time for math..."one look from him shut her up, though.
"Sure you do, just think, every math person has a favorite prime number. Didn't Larry say that?"
"There you go, why 9?"
"Cause that was how old I was when you let me play baseball with you."
Don swallowed, and tears threatened to spill out.
"Don, I'm so...sorry."
"Don't, Chuck." Don's voice was sharp. "Don't you say your goodbye's damn it. You're going to be FINE. You are going home soon and dad and I, and Amita, will take care of you. Think of Amita. She needs you, too.
Charlie was chattering now.
"Why's the fucking ambulance taking so long?!" Don pratically pounced on Megan when she touched him.
"We're on the other side of the town, Don. At the edge. Away from hospitals."
"Fuck." Don gripped Charlie's hands, and could feel them becoming colder by the minutes. "We need more blankets. Look in my trunk." Colby obeyed quickly and emerged with a handful of them. Megan's eyes looked at Don questioningly, but knew not to press the matter.
The minutes seemed to stretch forever. Little did Don know that they would be Charlie's last.
He prayed during then,. Prayed to a God he wasn't sure he believed in. Prayed for Charlie to live. Prayed for everything to be okay. Those prayers seemed to turn on deaf ears.
He snapped back to reality at Charlie's shaking.
He heard Colby calling it a seizure. Megan's voice, she sounded so far away from him, said he was going into shock.
All he felt was the tremble of Charlie's body, and then the body going still.
Everyone was silent, until Colby spoke.
That was when Don snapped out of it.
"No, no, no!"
"Don." Tears were in Megan's voice. He couldn't explain it, he just felt it. He ignored her.
"Come on, Chuck!" He started cpr. "Come on, don't do this to me, man!"
The wails of the ambulance happened to appear then,but he didn't care. He breathed his air into Charlie's mouth, hoping against hope that was enough. Paramedics surrounded him.
"Let the professionals handle this, son." A older man spoke, but Don ignored him. He jerked away, not letting anyone interrupt him.
"BREATHE GODFUCKINGDAMNIT!" He screamed at the motionless body of his brother. He vaguely heard Megan sobbing. Megan never cried. "BREATHE!" His own breathing became out of control, to the point where Colby had to drag him away. He kept on repeating those worse.
"Breathe, Charlie! Breathe!" He saw men surround Chuck, doing the same motions, until.
"Time of death-"
No..." Don's face turned blank from the horror of it all. No...His legs began to buckle.
And that was when Don fainted...