This is a story I'm writing that I got the idea from my dear friend Lizzy. I thank her for the awesome idea! Here goes nothing. I hope everyone loves it as much as we do!
Note: Revisions made to suit everyone.
I sat at my desk, my head in my hands. I felt miserable. My head throbbed with pain. I couldn't see things clearly from the white lights that flashed in front of my eyes. I couldn't function. I had been feeling bad for the past three days, but this day was the worst.
I was trying to shake the dizzy feeling when Don walked in.
"Hey, Buddy. We just got a new case in. Can you-" He stopped suddenly as he took in my appearance.
"What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," I said, shaking my head to keep from falling asleep or passing out. "What's the case?"
"Are you sure you're okay? You look awful."
"I'm fine, Don. What do you need?" I stood, reaching for the file in his hands. He pulled them from my reach.
"Sit down, Buddy, before you fall."
I sighed. There was no pretending with Don.
"Okay, so I feel awful. I can still function." Barely.
"Why don't you go home? You want me to take you?"
"I have another class."
"Get Amita to cover it for you. You're not going to be any use to your students if you can barely stand."
"I can't take time off. I need to get these papers graded before the term ends. I got to-"
"Charlie! You don't have to do anything. Trust me. Just let me take you home and you can take it easy and go back to work tomorrow if you feel better."
"No buts. You need to get better."
He was always one to boss me around.
Suddenly, Don's phone rang.
"Eppes." Don said into the cell phone.
He paused for a minute.
"Yeah, I'll be right there."
When he hung up, he turned back to me.
"That was Megan. We got some more information on this case. I have to go. Get Larry to drive you home, okay, bud?"
"I'll see you later. Get some rest!" He called over his shoulder.
I sank down on my chair again and leaned my head back.
Maybe I should get some sleep.
I walked into the FBI offices, searching for Megan.
"What have we got?" I asked as I came up beside her.
"We have a witness. He's in the interrogation room right now with Colby and David."
"So what does he know about it?"
"Apparently, he saw a white male in the bank who looked suspicious. I doubt if we'll get much good out of him, but he's the only witness we have."
"What about the tapes? Did they release the footage from yesterday yet?"
We were working on a chain of bank robberies. Each seemed similar, but each witness gave a different description.
"We're supposed to be getting them sometime this evening."
"All right. Get what you can out of this guy and we'll go from there."
"Did you get any info from Charlie?"
"No, he looks pretty bad. I think he's catching a cold or something. I told him to hitch a ride home with Larry."
"Than why is he standing at your office door?"
I turned around quickly, and saw Charlie swaying on his feet as he gripped the door frame of my office.
"Charlie! What the hell are you doing here?" I demanded as I marched up to him.
"I-I came to help."
"How did you get here?"
"I lied to Larry. I told him you'd take me home from here."
"You didn't lie. I am taking you home."
"What? Don, I told you already, I'm fine. Let me see what case you're working on. If I can't work at school, at least let me work here."
David and Colby came rushing out of the office.
"We got a name!" Colby announced as they ran up to me and Charlie. Megan soon followed.
"Who is it?"
"He says he heard this guy's friend call him Matt, but also he called him McGregor. I'm guessing he called him by his last name and first name."
"Matt McGregor? Why does that sound familiar?"
"He was the guy who was connected to the last round of bank robberies, but we found that he wasn't responsible."
"You think maybe he had been the first time?"
"I don't know."
"All right, run a check on McGregor. See if you can't find where he is now. And while you're at it-"
I was interrupted as Charlie passed out, nearly knocking me over.
"Charlie!" I exclaimed. I didn't catch him in time, though. He hit the floor like a ton of metal.
David, Colby, and Megan all looked as shocked and worried as I was.
"What's going on?" David asked.
"He's been sick. I told him to go home and go to bed. Damn it, Charlie."
Megan sat down on the floor beside Charlie and we waited for him to regain consciousness. I stood and began to pace as my anger rose.
"I think he's coming around." I heard Megan's voice say, but as if from far away.
"Charlie? Charlie, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand." Megan's voice said again. I squeezed her hand.
"Good." She breathed.
I slowly opened my eyes and looked up at the worried gazes of Colby, David, and Megan. But when I saw Don, I saw nothing but complete rage written on his face.
"Are you all right?" Megan asked me as I slowly sat up.
"I'm okay." I said, shaking the foggy images in front of my eyes.
David and Colby grabbed my arms and hoisted me to my feet.
"You all right, man?" Colby asked when I still was a little drowsy.
"Come on." Don said, grabbing me by the arm in a painful grip. He dragged me to the elevator and out to his car.
"What's Don's problem?" David asked.
"I don't know. Did you see that look on his face? Man, Charlie is in for it."
I stared out the window, and soon I saw Don and Charlie. Charlie was being dragged my Don. He looked like he could collapse at any moment.
"Look at this, guys." I called to the others.
"What?" Colby asked as he stepped over to the window with David right beside him.
"Look at the way he's handling Charlie."
They all winced when Charlie fell into the side of the SUV and barely made it to his side of the car.
"It's like Don wants Charlie to be hurt worse."
"I doubt that, Meg." Colby argued.
"Well, that's how it looks."
The ride home was unbearably quiet. Don kept squeezing the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. It was a way to ease some of his anger, though I think it wasn't doing any good today.
When we finally pulled up at the house, I was scared to see Dad wasn't home yet. I'd have to face Don alone.
"I can go in by myself. You can go back to work." I told Don, attempting to get out of a fight.
"The way you just acted shows me that you can't take care of yourself. I'm going in with you and I'm staying here until Dad gets home."
Please, don't be long, Dad.
I stepped inside the house and headed for the stairs. I was feeling considerably worse than I had before.
I went up to my room and searched for a t-shirt and jeans to change in to.
At that moment, Don decided to begin the fight. I stopped my search, knowing I would get to change for a while.
"Charlie, how could you be so stupid? I don't get you! You're supposed to be the smart one, but what you just did was the most idiotic thing you've done in a long time. You could have been hurt! Charlie, you were supposed to go home! You know you didn't feel well! Why couldn't you just go home?"
"Do you want to get hurt? Do you want to die young? That's the way you're acting! You acted like a child today, a disobedient child who just wanted to get in trouble. Why would you do something so stupid? You're sick, Charlie. Act like it! Take it easy, rest, relax! Do anything but try to work!"
"It's like this all the time. You get sick or worried or scared, and so you just bury yourself in your work! You can't do that, Charlie! It'll kill you if you do! I don't know what's wrong with you right now, but you're not well and you can't work yourself to death! It will kill you, Charlie."
My vision began to blur. I grabbed onto the door frame, trying to escape to the bathroom as nausea set in.
"I'm not done talking to you!" Don screamed, blocking my way.
I pushed past him, trying to get to the bathroom.
"Are you even listening to me?" Don demanded. I stood at the top of the stairs, trying to decide whether to run to the upstairs or downstairs bathroom.
"Damn it, Charlie! Pay attention to me! Why can't you get out of your own little world and look at what's around you?"
"Don, shut up!" I screamed. I had to get to the bathroom or I was going to throw up in the hallway in front of my room.
Don took a threatening stepped forward. His eyes flared like a fire. His fists clenched and unclenched and I knew he was going to hit me. I stepped backwards, scared to death.
It was then that I remembered I was at the top of the steps and I fell falling backward.
"Charlie!" I screamed as he went flying backward.
He did three backward summersaults and then fell sideways down the steps. Everything moved slowly, as in slow motion. I prayed he'd be okay when he hit the bottom.
But he wasn't. When he got to the bottom, his head hit the leg of the mail table hard. A moan sounded from his mouth and he did a fish-like flop from his stomach to his back.
I rushed down the steps, taking the two or three at a time.
"Charlie! Come on, Buddy! Talk to me!" I demanded as I shook him.
I was near tears when I saw that he was unconscious. His head was bleeding heavily and it scared me.
Dad walked in the door, carrying a bag of groceries that he promptly dropped when he saw Charlie lying on the floor.
"What happened?" He demanded as he rushed to Charlie's side.
"He...he fell down the steps." I stuttered.
"Call 9-1-1." Dad said, his voice scared.
When I didn't move, he screamed.
"Don! Call 9-1-1!" I was unresponsive.
He got up, cursing as he headed to the phone.
I stumbled out of the house and to my car. I sped away from the house, knowing that Charlie was hurt and it was all my fault.
It wasn't until I got to the parking lot of my apartment that I began to sob harder than I had in a long time.