Chapter 19 • EPILOGUE

Alan watched Archie and Charlie walk carefully toward the house.

He literally could not believe that 15 days after being shot three times and nearly dying, Charlie was home. It frightened him. So much healing still to be done. So much rehab. So much could still go wrong.

Don joined him at the back of the SUV and reached to take the suitcase from his hand. "I've got it, Dad. Nice of Charlie to leave all the flowers for the nursing staff."

Alan nodded silently, still watching.

Don bumped him with the suitcase. "Dad. He'll be fine. We'll make sure of it."

Alan smiled, cleared his throat. "Of course. You'll stay for dinner? I have a turkey in the oven."

Don raised an eyebrow as they started up the walk. "Turkey? It's not thanksgiving."

Alan draped an arm over Don's shoulders. "Of course it is," he said.

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Later, over mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, yams, and, of course, turkey, Don regarded his family.

"Since there are two of you to juggle Charlie's therapy appointments," he started, "I thought I'd go back to work, Monday. I can help, though, I want to help. Make me part of the rotation."

Archie smiled. "Come by in the evenings and entertain your brother. Alan and I are fine in the daytime. I'm not going back for at least three more weeks." She looked down at her plate. "If then. Every time I think about working with Reynolds…"

Don shot Charlie a look. "There might be a way around that."

Archie looked at him with interest. "What? We can't work on the same team."

He smiled self-consciously. "Not exactly. But you could work on David's team, with him and Megan — we'll get you a fourth. I've already got my eye on a transfer from Vegas."

She frowned, confused. "What? Where will you be?"

"I … well, I sort-of was offered another position."

Alan's fork dropped. "Donnie, please, you're not transferring again?"

Don reached out to touch his father's hand. "No, Dad, I'm staying here. In the L.A. office. Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

"Then what…"

"Geez, just TELL THEM already!" Charlie suddenly exploded, and they all looked at him startled. He smiled proudly. "He's the new Assistant Director of the L.A. office!"

Archie gasped and pushed back her chair to get to the other side of the table. Sitting next to his son, Alan beat her to the hug. "Donnie! Such good news! Congratulations, son!"

Archie was on him next, kissing him on the cheek. She looked at Charlie over Don's shoulder as she hugged him. "Your brother is my new boss!"

"I was always your boss," he began to protest, "and what kind of professional employee kisses a boss at the dinner table, anyway?"

Archie laughed and pulled back, crossed to Charlie's chair and plopped onto his lap, eliciting a surprised grunt. She wrapped a possessive arm around his neck. "This is wonderful," she beamed at them all. "This is all just wonderful."

Charlie draped his uncasted arm around her waist. He looked evenly across the table at his father and grinned. "Yes it is, Peaches."

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FINIS

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A/N: Just seemed like a good place to let them have a few days alone, before we explore the possibilities…who wants more?