Don smiled as he finished his last set of reps. He gently lowered the Nautilus weights back to their original position and shook his arms out at his sides, relishing the feeling of strength that had been absent for so long. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened to the sound of Charlie's chalk clicking and tapping away on the nearby blackboard.
Don had been surprised when Charlie had bought the home gym, and touched when he had condensed his collection of chalkboards to make room for the gym in the garage. Even though Don was much healthier and staying at his apartment, Charlie had left the gym alone, telling Don to come over whenever he wanted to – an offer that Don was taking him up on. Between the home gym, his father's treadmill, and the basketball hoop outside, Don felt like he had a free membership to an exclusive health club. He chuckled aloud at the thought.
"What?" Charlie's voice called from across the garage.
"Just enjoying the free membership at the Eppes Family Gym," Don answered as he stood and wiped his face with a hand towel.
"I'm glad," Charlie grinned as he turned his attention back to the chalkboard. "The free trial ends as soon as you're cleared for field work."
"Is that right, Chuck?" Don teased as he threw the towel at Charlie, who managed to just barely duck out of the way.
"Call me Chuck again and I'll back bill you for the past five weeks."
Don grinned mischievously as he stood next to Charlie, who was again scribbling away on the blackboard. "You know, Chuck," Don emphasized the last word. "I think you need to relearn a little respect for your older brother."
"Oh yeah?" Charlie snorted without looking at Don.
"Yeah!" Don exclaimed as he grabbed Charlie and playfully ruffled his curls. "Maybe a haircut? Dad would be thrilled."
"Don't you even joke about that!" Charlie wriggled out of Don's arms and dashed to the door of the garage. He smiled back at Don who still stood by the chalkboard as he laughed. "By the way, Dad's letting me help with dinner."
Don joked, "That sounds scary."
"You have no idea."
"What?" Don demanded as his brother's face lit up with an evil grin.
"I'm in charge of dessert."
"No..." Don trailed off. "You wouldn't..."
"I would." Charlie waggled his eyebrows. "I did."
"Charlie," he growled.
"You know what they say – there's always room for j-e-l-l- Oh!" Charlie exclaimed and ran for dear life as Don chased after him.