Title: Intervention, Part Deux
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. As you can see, they occasionally visit.
A/N: My decompression Oneshot. Definitely AU.
She expected them this time, so she tried to be ready. She straightened up the office a bit. The empty Big Gulp cup, lying used and forgotten under the desk (like herself, on so many Saturday nights she could think of), was picked up and thrown away. Research for stories completed found its way to appropriate files. She did the dishes, because you could see the kitchen from the office, if you tried hard enough. The evening before, excited, she had purchased a bunch of fall flowers at the supermarket, and now they leant their yellows and oranges — and browns? She leaned over the vase, and saw that she had purchased something dead, again. She plucked it out of the arrangement and tossed it in the trash.
She sat behind the computer, and caught her reflection in the dark screen. She smoothed her hair and turned the machine on, fast. She glanced towards the door, waiting. It wasn't that the boys had made an appointment, or anything. It was more the sense she had that ripping Charlie's hand off may have been a bit much, even for her.
Sure enough, before the computer was completely booted, there was a knock. Nervous, yet pleased, she smiled to herself. "Do come in," she purred, sitting back in her chair and crossing her legs.
Her mouth gaped when Megan preceded Don and Charlie into the room. "What?" she squeaked, before her manners caught up with her. Then she indicated the seating in the room. She stammered slightly, still surprised. "Pl- Please, everyone. Sit down."
Charlie took his position on the end of the couch, as he had before, looking even more miserable than the last time she had seen him. Don and Megan sat in the straight chairs in front of the desk. FraidyCat looked first at Charlie, happy to see that his hair was growing out a little, then at Don, who was scowling, and finally at Megan. "Um….I wasn't expecting you," she finally said.
Megan smiled. "The guys asked me to come. They're afraid the last intervention didn't go as well as it could have."
The woman truly was stunning, up close and personal. FraidyCat began to feel like a cold yam casserole the day after Thanksgiving, and it made her a little snarky. She glared at Don. "So is she your spokesperson, now? You can't take me on yourself?"
He stiffened. "I can have your badge in five minutes," he growled.
FraidyCat looked at him with a little sympathy. "Don. Sweetie. I'm not an agent."
He reddened furiously and looked at the floor. "Dammit. You've got me all turned around."
She tried to ignore the others in the room, and spoke gently. "What's wrong, stud muffin?"
His head shot up again, and she could see that he was angry. "Shut the hell up! We are not friends, this is NOT a date! You can't talk to me like that!"
Megan put a hand lightly on his arm. "This is not an interrogation either, Don. Just a friendly visit, right guys?" Both women glanced at Charlie, who hadn't said a word yet, and both women could see that he fixed terrified eyes on Don. Megan spoke again. "Why don't you just tell FraidyCat why you're here."
Don shifted in his chair, clearly still angry. "Look, Cat, last time we tried to be reasonable. I asked you to stop hurting my brother."
Charlie sniffed, but FraidyCat ignored him and held Don's gaze. "I try to be reasonable too," she protested. "I always get you guys back together. I give you brother moments; rich, rewarding brother moments!"
She heard a shuffling sound and for the first time noticed the files on Megan's lap. Agent Reeves had one open, and was studying it. "Yes…", she began, pensively, "I see here that you have brother issues of your own." She looked up at FraidyCat. "No doubt you're trying to resolve your own feelings of inadequacy. Your inability to save your own brother has left you completely unable to successfully separate Don and Charlie."
FraidyCat felt her blood boil, and her eyes narrow. "What the hell are you doing?", she hissed. "Are you profiling me?"
"It's my job," Megan shrugged, then grinned a little. "By the way, I appreciate your always making me a strong female character."
FraidyCat stood and leaned over the desk toward the two of them. "You. Have. No. Right."
Don sneered at her. "Don't like how it feels, huh? Can't take a taste of what you've been putting me and Charlie through?"
Fraidy leaned over further, and her bosom threatened to steal her balance and dump her at Don's feet. Even in her anger, she wasn't sure she should fight against that. "You don't seem to understand," she stated plainly. "You are not real."
This time Charlie's sniff became a sob, and captured the attention of all of them. He leaned forward, elbows propped on his knees, head hanging in his hands. "Y..Y…You ripped my hand off," he wailed, "and- and- you took my Dad aw-w-w-way, and n-n-now you say I'm not r-r-real?" His voice squeaked at the end and his shoulders began to shake.
In an instant, Don was at his side. He sat beside him on the couch and draped an arm around the thin shoulders. He drew Charlie to him, speaking softly. "Hey, Buddy, come on…come on…it's okay, I got ya…" While Charlie struggled to contain himself, Don looked almost desperately at the woman still standing behind the desk. "Fraidy…Fraid…FCat, sit down, please. Let's not get upset…"
She sat, forcing herself not to swim in his eyes. "Make her stop with the files," she commanded.
Don continued to squeeze Charlie periodically and looked at her sadly. "Maybe you can do something for me, first." He looked at his brother, then back at FraidyCat. "You're killing him. Be reasonable. Sleepwalking? Potentially dangerous. The pack of dogs? Ugly. You can't even give him a decent memory of a woman, it has to be someone who beat him up…"
Megan piped up once more. She was looking at her file again. "You know, Don, most of those things are coming right out of her own past. If we can find a way to cheer her up, it might not be so bad for you and Charlie anymore."
FraidyCat sighed, and didn't even bother to look at the honey blonde. "Shut up, bitch."
Don let go of Charlie and made a move for her. "Hey! Hey! That's enough of that!"
"Sorry," FraidyCat mumbled. She shoved the bowl of candy near her keyboard across the desk at Megan. "Help yourself." While Megan sorted through the offering, FraidyCat sighed again. This visit was not as pleasant as the last one. She decided to try and deflect Don. "Look. miacembra just put Charlie through some serious hell. And what about dHall? She shot you both with the same bullet! I don't even want to think about what she and AliceI have planned for you when they start writing as a team!" She peered at him intently. "The Silent Rumble has thrown you into an Alternate Universe and ruined your childhood, Don!"
His eyes dropped, but he squared his shoulders. "I can take it," he said, tremulously. "It's Charlie I'm worried about."
Charlie looked over at his brother fondly. "Thanks, Donnie."
FraidyCat interrupted. "Okay. Okay. Then what about Curtisbrothersfan? She blinded the guy with a baseball bat!"
"You helped with that," Charlie pointed out, then looked quickly at the floor again.
"It was her idea," FraidyCat sulked. "I just helped a little." She was growing increasingly affronted. "The dogs were her idea too, you know."
Don stood and started pacing the room. "I'm just asking," he said, at length. "Try a little more plot, like OughtaKnowBetter. I can't wait to see where she's going with this one, I'm having a great time! Or…maybe an occasional feel-good piece, like 3rdgal's thing? You know, the one where Dad came over and took care of me?"
Charlie watched his brother through suspicious eyes. "Don. You said you were coming here to help me, not to advance your own career."
Don returned his gaze. "Come on, Charlie, I'm always taking care of you. Can't you let me have anything?"
FraidyCat looked at Megan. "Got a profile on those two?", she asked. Megan, mouth full of taffy, simply tossed a file folder across the desk.
FraidyCat snatched it up, giddy. She looked inside, and saw the motherlode: First Class Research on Don and Charlie. She began to salivate.
Charlie decided it was time to argue for himself. "I hacked into your system," he informed her. "I know what you have planned."
FraidyCat blanched and dropped the folder as if it was on fire. She stared at him, aghast. "You didn't."
He nodded, and spoke lowly. "I did."
She licked her lips, and looked at him fearfully. "Wh-What do you want?"
He stood and approached the desk, and seemed to grow taller the closer he got. His tone was threatening, and even Don was impressed. "Just hand the file over, and no one gets whumped."
FraidyCat looked at him in true dismay. "Oh, dear. I'm not sure I can do that…"
He crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I'll tell them," he promised. "I'll tell them all. I'll throw a party, and hand out your plot bunnies as favors."
FraidyCat clutched at the corner of her desk, pushing her chair backwards, her eyes wide. "No…please…Charlie…" He smiled, with true evil intent, and she swallowed. "For how long?"
He didn't even blink. "One million, two hundred nine thousand and six hundred seconds." He tilted his head. "Or until 2heads5better are finished. They worry me."
FraidyCat cursed under her breath and stood. She reached for the file folder, picked it up and handed it to him. She saw Don grinning proudly in the background. "Get out," she hissed.
Megan stood to join the men, and tossed her long hair. She paused and glanced at FraidyCat under impossibly long lashes.
"Can I have another piece of candy?"