Coming Home

Summary: When Charlie goes missing, and Don's a nervous wreck, the only person who can help is the one that got away.

Disclaimer: Don't own them. Wish I did. You know the drill. CBS et al. get to play with them in real life. I'm just borrowing them for a bit.

Note: This could quite possibly be AU, I'm not completely sure. Just thought I'd leave a warning that if it seems to be off with the show, I apologize. This is just what I wish would happen.

Agent Don Eppes sat at his desk thinking. While most would agree it was about the file open in front of him, his eyes were looking, but not seeing. Instead, he was focused on something he couldn't fully control, a moment that he would never regret and the woman who got away.


His ex-girlfriend – which was irrelevant to him – and his best friend had left for Washington to reconcile with her ex-husband… or close to be ex anyway. Well, that's what he'd thought at the time. However, Terry Lake seemed intent on looking at the possibilities. And those possibilities were all miles away from him. He wasn't impressed with that.

He knew Terry, and Terry wouldn't run. She had her reasons for going. While he wanted to respect that, and her decision, he hadn't wanted her to leave. It was his main reason for inviting her to his apartment for a last drink before she left. Sure, he had ulterior motives, but he would stick with his story thankyouverymuch.

Of course, there was alcohol and consumed in generous amounts by both parties. He couldn't remember who'd jumped whom, but he could vividly remember her body under his and the emptiness when he woke up the next morning to find her gone. Unlike Terry, she hadn't left a note or any sign of where she'd gone, or if she was coming back. The only testament to her presence was the faint smell of her in his sheets and the bottles still laying on the coffee table.

He was too chicken to call and tell her he wanted her in his life, that he loved her and she couldn't go back to him . Instead, he stewed in his own regret; the regret that he didn't tell her sooner…

The regret that he didn't tell her at all.

It was a bitter, uncomfortable regret.

Agent Terry Lake had managed to find a fairly cheap Washington apartment – she wasn't ready to move back in with her husband yet – and was currently sitting on the couch, trying to bring herself up to speed with her team's current cases. However, she couldn't concentrate for the life of her.

She kept picturing his eyes as he moved over her, the tenderness in his gaze and in his hands as he sent her crashing over the edge. It wasn't helping her resolve. She'd set her sights on coming here, after all, and settling things with her husband. Nevertheless, it was going to be mighty difficult if she couldn't stop thinking of Don Eppes.

Knowing him, he never actually planned for them to sleep together on the night before she was supposed to leave for Washington. If he had something planned, he executed it like a trained military professional. Or, at the very least, as the well-trained FBI agent he was. This had been impulsive.

She couldn't say she minded all that much.

He still made her feel special, still made her feel like the prettiest girl in the room and still worshipped her like he had in their days at the Academy. Sure, Terry understood they'd been much younger then, but she treasured every moment with him in the video storage of her mind.

Like any other sane person, Don had an effect on her, one that she decided she wasn't against. It was annoying for her to think about it. It brought back pleasant memories that weren't constructive to any reconciliation in the near future.

Damn that man.

Don was surprised when the phone rang. Sure, he was rarely at his apartment, but at the same time, when he was, people just didn't call. Quickly he went though all the possibilities as he searched for the offending device.


No, he knew when Don was at his apartment he wasn't to be interrupted. Plus, Charlie was too busy working on some problem for Larry with Amita…

His dad?

He was at book club.


He'd just closed a case.


"Don?" The voice was tiny but he would recognize it in a second.


"Yeah, its me." His pulse jumped.

"What's up?" Immediately, Don was on edge. If Terry was calling him all the way from Washington, something important must have happened.

"Nothing's wrong," she said, and Don couldn't help smiling at how well she knew him. "I just…" Don waited patiently for a few minutes.

"You just…" She sighed.

"Nothing… it was stupid of me to call."

"Terry, you called for a reason. If you don't want to tell me that's fine," he said, too happy to just talk to her to push her. "How's Washington?"

"Expensive." He chuckled.

"That bad?"

"Not bad, per se. Different. There's a lot of things that I don't have the liberty of here that I did in LA." There was a split second silence, not for a lack of things to say but for Don to keep back the scathing things he wanted to say about the move.

"You'll adapt. You always did." They talked for a while longer, content to hear the other's voice and talk about the inconsequential things that best friends talked about. Finally, it was getting way to late for either of them to be up and still be human in the morning. Reluctantly, they both hung up.

It set a standard. They started to call each other once a week and daily e-mails became a common occurrence. Don heard about her husband, the good and the bad and Terry heard about Charlie, Alan and the rest of the team.

But it was all just the calm before the storm.

Just to let you know, I'm not all that sure about this story. Let me know how you like the beginning because it'll be really big for how I write it. You're feedback would help so much.