Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I don't make any money off of them.
A/N: Thanks as always to ritt, the world's best beta and sounding board!
"Careful," Charlie spoke as he held the front door open for his brother.
"If I made it up the front steps, I think I can cross the threshold just fine. Don't you?"
"Hey," Charlie shot back. "I'm trying to be helpful, here. You don't need to rip my head off."
"Sorry," Don growled sarcastically. "I guess I'm still a little upset that you laughed at me at the hospital."
The younger man rolled his eyes. "You don't think it's the least bit funny that-"
"Donny!" Alan's alarmed cry interrupted them. "Oh my God! What happened to you?"
"It's nothing, Dad," Don quickly assured him.
"Nothing?" the older man demanded as he took in the sight of his eldest son on crutches, his clothes torn and dirty, and a small white bandage on his temple. "This is nothing?"
"Dad," Don groaned as he awkwardly used his crutches to maneuver to the couch where he wearily sank onto the soft cushions.
"It really isn't anything major," Charlie stepped in on his brother's behalf. His face lit up in a small grin. "Not even case related, actually."
"No?" Alan inquired as he looked quizzically at his youngest son. "Then what happened?"
"Should I tell him?" Charlie cackled at Don. "Or do you want to?"
"You seem to enjoy the story so much," Don snapped in frustration. "Why don't you do the honors?"
"Okay, I will." Charlie led his father into the living room where they both sat in their respective armchairs. The young man glanced at his big brother and barely managed to keep another laugh in check as Don scowled at him. "You see, Dad, there was this girl-"
"Her name is Cindy," Don huffed.
"Right," Charlie sighed as he rolled his eyes. "Cindy. Anyway, she works at one of those drive in food places – you know, where they wear roller skates?"
"Cindy the roller skating waitress," Alan repeated, still baffled as to where this could possibly be going.
"Right," Charlie sniggered as Don covered his face with the throw pillow. "Apparently Don and his team like to go have lunch at this place on a daily-"
"Weekly," the agent cut in.
"Three days a week is not weekly," Charlie retorted.
"It's not daily, either," Don fired back.
"Whatever," the younger man waved him off. "Okay, so they go there three days a week. This waitress-" he corrected himself at Don's glare, "I mean, Cindy – she kind of likes to flirt with the customers. She especially seems fond of Don and Colby."
"Donny," Alan chuckled as he shook his head. He had an awful suspicion he knew where this was going.
"What?" the injured man protested.
"I guess you know where this is going, Dad?"
"I have a bad feeling that I do, yes."
Charlie nodded and leaned forward in the armchair. "So she's flirting with them, and they're trying to impress her," Charlie continued. "So she says to them that she likes them both, and she's a huge roller skater. Says she skates outside of work, too, and she's interested to know which one of them can keep up with her."
"I was an awesome skater in high school," Don piped up in self defense.
"Yes, you were," Alan agreed. "But getting older tends to diminish certain skills. Especially if you haven't used them in several years."
"So," the young professor continued. "Colby and Don agree to meet her in the park today to have a..." The young man looked at his brother and grinned. "A duel? A showdown? A skate-off? What did you call it, Don?"
"Embarrassing," he mumbled as he again hid his face behind the throw pillow.
"We'll go with skate-off – I like that better." Charlie smiled and winked at his father. "Sounds more manly, don't you think?"
"Why, yes it does, Charlie," Alan laughed heartily.
"So Don and Colby have each gone out and bought a pair of the best racing skates around, and they're lacing them up, each one throwing insults at the other while Cindy looks on. She says all she wants to do is take a leisurely spin around the park, and see who keeps up with her better. So, off they go..."
"Do you really have to go into all of the details?" Don groaned.
"It makes the story that much better," the younger man grinned and stuck his tongue out at Don.
"Oh, real mature, genius."
"Takes one to know one!"
"Boys!" Alan barked, watching in disbelief as his sons seemed to be regressing to little kids right before his eyes. "This is all very amusing, but what happened to you, Don?"
"I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk," he sheepishly answered. "I twisted my ankle and wiped out on the pavement, hitting my head on..." He took a deep sigh. "On Cindy's skate."
"Oh my," Alan fought to suppress a grin. "Not a very good way to impress a girl." He looked at Charlie with a twinkle in his eye. "So, Colby won the lady's affection?"
"No!" Don yelled happily.
"No, Colby had an accident, too," Charlie grinned. "Seems he was so busy laughing at Don, that he wasn't paying attention to where he was going..."
"At least I didn't skate into a tree," Don announced with a triumphant grin.
"He didn't?" Alan laughed loudly.
"He most certainly did," Charlie snorted.
"So, did Cindy choose? Is she going to let you two compete again?"
"That's the best part," Charlie snickered as Don sank even farther into the cushions. "Seems there was a third man who'd shown up that day. He'd been watching from a distance while Don and Colby made fools – I mean, made a less than stellar impression on Cindy. While I was busy trying to get the two of them to sit on a park bench so I could go get the car, this third man skated right on over to her. It was like... like he was floating on air. That's how smoothly he skated."
"Really?" Alan smiled. "Sounds like Cindy was lucky there was another man there that could keep up with her today."
"Lucky?" Charlie grinned. "Luck had nothing to do with it."
"I swear," Don growled petulantly, "David never mentioned that he skated every weekend to stay in shape."
"David?" Alan asked as he broke into a fit of laughter. "I always knew there was something about him I liked."
"Hey," Don protested in a wounded tone. "This could have been your chance at grandchildren. You ever think of that?"
"I've waited this long," Alan teased. "What's another few years?"
"Can we please just drop it?" Don begged. He decided to try the sympathy ploy. "My ankle is starting to throb."
Alan sobered for a moment. "Is it broken?"
"No," Charlie shook his head. "It's just a bad sprain. The bump on his head is minor, too – not even a concussion."
"So the only thing that was seriously injured..." Alan smiled at his youngest son.
"Was his pride," Charlie finished happily.
"Please," Don groaned. "Can we please talk about something else? Out of consideration for your oldest son and respected big brother?"
"Of course, Donny," Alan soothed as he winked at Charlie. "I've seen you brush off bullet grazes and being drugged, but I can see how the sprained ankle could be your breaking point."
Don rolled his eyes. "I knew I should have gone to my apartment," he muttered.
"I'm sorry, Don," Charlie nodded solemnly. "We aren't being very understanding are we? How about we just forget this whole thing and have some dinner."
Don smiled. "Thank you, Charlie. Dinner would be great."
"Okay," Charlie replied as he glanced at his father with a huge grin on his face. "Say, Dad – I know this great little fast food place, and you don't even have to get out of the car..."
He and Alan dissolved into a fit of laughter, which only increased in volume as Don's pillow sailed past Charlie's head.