Title: You've Got To Be Kidding
Time line: Sequel to "That Which Tears Us Apart"
Summary: Is this what brothers are for?
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em – but wanna cuddle 'em.
Charlie drummed his fingers on the table.
"Calm down," Don said. "You're never gonna make it until tomorrow."
"I'll be fine," Charlie retorted. "Are you sure I shouldn't get my hair cut?"
Don grimaced. Hair would forever be an issue between them. When they were growing up — all the way to a little over a year ago, in fact — Charlie's hair had been a series of tight, unruly curls. Don had given him no end of grief. Then they had both spent some time bald. Charlie had lost his hair due to chemotheraphy, and Don, along with several friends, had shaved off his own hair. Now, Don had to keep his ridiculously short to avoid tight curls — and Charlie's…well, it wasn't exactly straight, but it barely qualified as wavy. It just wasn't right.
"Shut up," he growled.
Charlie grinned, and looked nervously at his watch.
"Charlie…" started Don.
"It's not that," Charlie interrupted. "Well, not entirely…I have to pick up my tux, and I still haven't said what I came here to say."
Don felt himself tense. The memory of Charlie's leukemia was still too fresh. He spoke quietly. "It's not as bad as last time, is it? You're not going to wait until the day before your wedding and tell me something like that?"
Charlie quickly reached out to touch Don's hand. "Oh, no, Don. G-d no, I'm sorry."
"Then what is it?", Don asked, a little testy now. He looked at his own watch. "I've got to get back to the office."
"Wait, wait, wait," cried Charlie, loudly enough that patrons at other tables looked over at them. "Okay, I'll tell you."
Then he started drumming his fingers on the table.
Charlie finally just blurted it out, in typical confusing Charlie fashion. "Amita is 30," he said. "I'm 33."
Don rolled his eyes. "So? That's not a huge age difference, Buddy."
"No, No, I know that," responded Charlie. "It's just that…well…" He was blushing. He finally shoved it out as one word. "Wewanttohavechildrenrightaway."
Don's eyes crinkled. "Not sure what you want me to do about that," he finally said. "Need some instructions?"
Charlie buried his burning face in his hands. Don could barely make out a strangled, "No, dammit!" He started shaking his head in laughter, but suddenly Charlie raised his and looked him in the eye. He was startled to see tears in his brother's eyes.
Charlie spoke so quietly Don had to strain to hear him. "It's a side affect of the bone marrow stem cell transplant," he said. "Pretty much always happens." He looked around, checking to make sure no one was near. "I'm sterile," he finally whispered. "We want you to be a sperm donor."