Disclaimer: Standard still applies.
A/N: I think that everyone told me to add onto this story. So, here it goes.
I think this will turn into a short series.
I want to thank Melissa Jooty for pointing out some facts to me that I will put into the story.
Also, tkdblack kinda made my believe my suspensions about my writing. I can't do a good oneshot. -sighs- I'll have to work on that ...
Don sat down next to his brother's body. He watched quietly as the medics started helping Charlie. He heard the heart monitor's steady beep and felt relieved. He had his brother. Charlie was safe.
Don took some time to study his brother. It was obvious that he had a broken arm and a broken leg. He was having trouble breathing which made Don think that maybe Charlie had bruised, maybe broken ribs.
Don looked out the window of the helicopter and wondered how many other hikers were hurt out in the rain. He shook his head. He should have gone with his brother, then Charlie wouldn't have been hurt. His brother may be a genius, but he was stupid some times. If his dad knew ...
Don sighed and looked back at Charlie. The others in the helicopter where still setting his broken bones. He took out his cell phone.
The phone rang.
"Donnie! How are you doing?"
Don took a breath. Quick, like a band-aid. "Charlie was in an accident."
"What?! But he's out hiking!"
"Yeah. Turns out he was stupid and went alone and-"
Alan cut him off, "I know he went alone! Is he alright now? Where are you? Is he with you?"
"I'm looking at him now. He had called me when he couldn't get a hold of you," Don was quiet while he heard his dad curse on the phone, "So we tracked him with the GPS chip in his cell and we picked him up by helicopter. Still in the 'copter." He sighed and listened while the thunder drowned out the heart monitor, "Why don't you meet us at the hospital?"
Alan walked into the ER and found Don talking to a doctor. He rushed up to his eldest.
The doctor raised an eyebrow at Alan.
"Dr. Wolfe, this is my dad, Alan Eppes."
Dr. Wolfe smiled and he held out his hand, "Good to meet you."
Alan nodded and shook the hand nervously, "How is my son?"
Dr. Wolfe smiled, "I was just about to tell Agent Eppes here about Charles. So, why don't we all sit down while I tell you what he is going through." The three of them sat down in a quiet room. Dr. Wolfe sighed, "Alright. From what Agent Eppes has told me, Charlie seemed to have fallen down while hiking, during the rain. Now, I take it he was hiking by himself?" Alan nodded, eyes downcast, "That was very dangerous of him."
Alan nodded again, "I tried to tell him that. But he just replied with "What are the odds?""
Don had to smile, that was something that Charlie would say, then he would go and tell you the odds.
"Well," Dr. Wolfe started, "In all honesty, the odds are not that good for a lone hiker, no matter the weather or the skill of said hiker."
Alan sighed and contemplated his hands, he was so nervous for his son. But he was sure that Charlie wasn't in that bad of condition, because if he was the doctor would have already told them. He looked up, "And what are the odds for him now?"
Dr. Wolfe smiled, "Oh, very good. He has a broken leg, broken arm, a few broken ribs and a slight concussion." He paused, "And he seemed to have gotten a fever from being out in the rain."
Alan's eyes grew, "How is that good? My son's body is all broken!"
"Mr. Eppes. When people get hurt while hiking there is a large chance that they are never rescued, and for those who are rescued, most of them are hurt worse than your son is. Charles should learn from this mistake and never hike alone again."
"When can he come home?" Don voiced.
"We want to bring his fever down closer to 99 degrees, but as soon as that happens, you can take him home. He will need rest and shouldn't move around too much. He has a cast on his arm and leg. Before he goes home someone will teach him how to use crutches." Dr. Wolfe's beeper went off, he looked at it, then back at the two Eppes men, "I am sorry. But I am needed elsewhere. You can see Charlie. Room 84."
Don and Alan looked at each other as they got up and made their way to room 84.
Charlie was awake, but he was drugged up. He still had a heart monitor on and an IV hooked up to him. He glanced at the door when it opened, and when he saw who came in, he just wanted to get away. Get away to numbers.
Don could tell right away what Charlie was doing. He strode across the room next to Charlie's bed in a matter of seconds. "Buddy."
Charlie closed his eyes.
Charlie opened his eyes and looked down at his hands.
"Charlie." Don said forcefully.
Charlie shook his head and stayed mute.
"Charlie. Look at me."
He couldn't disobey any longer. He looked up and saw his dad and brother staring down at him.
Don sat down next to Charlie on his bed. "Hey, Buddy." He smiled.
Charlie just stared at him with big brown eyes, glazed over by fever and drugs.
Don swallowed what he really wanted to tell Charlie. He wanted to yell at Charlie for how stupid he was for hiking by himself. But he couldn't do that now. He would have to do it later, when Charlie was a little better. "How are you doing?"
Alan walked around to the other side of the bed and put a hand on Charlie's forehead. He knew that his son had a fever, but he wanted to feel how hot he was. He pulled his hand back quickly after he felt Charlie's cold wet hair. His son's hair was still wet from the rain. He stroked his hand through his son's hair. His son was going to be alright. And he would hopefully learn about this experience.
But Charlie was stubborn.
What were the odds that Charlie would learn from this?
Charlie crutched his way into his home. He had spent two days in the hospital and hated them both with a fiery passion.
Alan was in front of him, opening the door and making sure that Charlie's favorite chair was comfortable.
Charlie fell down into it, breathing harshly, out of breath. He winced when he fell, causing pain to his ribs.
Alan rushed to his son's side just to be swatted at with Charlie's good hand. "I'm fine. I'm fine." He said stubbornly.
Don walked in with a bag of his clothes.
Charlie eyed Don, "You know you don't have to stay here. I am perfectly fine."
Don smiled slightly, "Yeah, right. Dad has to go to a meeting tonight and this is your first night alone. You may need help with something."
Charlie sighed and sank down into his chair. "Fine." He said quietly.
Now that Alan was gone, Don knew that he wouldn't get in trouble. He walked into the living room and found that Charlie had moved to the couch watching TV. Don turned off the show.
Charlie sat up as fast as he could, "Hey! I was watching that!"
Don faced Charlie, deadly serious, "Charlie, we need to talk."
Charlie blinked. He didn't like that tone. And Don didn't call him Buddy. Charlie shook his head, "No. No we don't."
"Yes we do." Don said, making sure that Charlie would listen. They stared at each other for a while, ego against ego. Don broke the silence first, "How could you be so stupid?!"
Don watched and Charlie winced at the sudden yelling, causing himself to hiss out in pain from moving too fast.
Don felt a pull at his heart, but he couldn't let that go. He had to tell Charlie. He sighed deeply, "How could you be so stupid?" He asked quietly.
Charlie glared at Don, "What are you talking about?"
"Hiking by yourself." Don said, tone forceful again. He watched as Charlie's eyes flashed with an unknown emotion.
"Oh." Charlie leaned back, "Right. This talk. Been waiting for it. Though I figured it'd be Dad and not you." He glanced at his brother, "Did you lose the coin toss? That why you're the one talking to me about how stupid I was to go out there by myself?"
Don stared at his brother, speechless. "Uh. Charlie ... we didn't toss a coin. I've been wanting to have this talk without ever since the helicopter." He waited for a reply, but he continued when he realized that there wouldn't be one. He sighed, "Charlie. You should never go hiking alone. I'm an officer, I've seen how many people get hurt when they are buy themselves, I've seen the rescue's performed and the rescues that never turn anything up. It was a stupid, ignorant thing to do! You could have waited till the case was over, or until Larry got back, but no! You had to go then!"
Charlie nodded, "Yes Don. I had to go then. I had to."
Don paused, "What? What the hell are you talking about?" His anger rising.
"I couldn't shut off the numbers Don. If I didn't do something about it that day something would have happened."
Charlie met Don's eyes, "Usually the next step is when I lock myself in a room and work on a math problem. No eating. No sleeping. Math only. I knew that none of you wanted that for me, so I took off."
Don's eyes dropped, his anger leaving. Charlie was helping him understand. He shot a glance at his brother, holding onto what anger he had left for his younger brother, "Did you have to hike?! You couldn't have found something else to do?!" He paused, breathing deeply, "And you are for sure that you would have snapped that night?! You couldn't have waited a day?!"
Charlie had stopped wincing from the yelling long before now, he took a deep breath, ignoring the pain it brought, "Yes! I had to go, Don! You don't understand! I can't control myself after a certain point. I can usually feel when that point is coming now! I used to not be able too, but I can now! I can usually stop myself before I "snap" as you put it! God, Don! What are the odds that something would have happened to me on my lone hike?!"
Don smirked, he had waited for that. "Charlie." He said in a normal tone, "I know that answer. The doctor told me." He smiled to himself as he watched Charlie's face fall.
"Oh. I didn't know that."
"Charlie, you knew that the odds where against you, so why did you go?" He paused, "I mean. I understand some of why you went, but wouldn't staying here at home for another day or so would have been better odds?"
Charlie shook his head, "The odds were worse if I stayed here."
Don stared at his brother. Was that true? Were the odds worse? Had Charlie's mind gotten that active that it would never shut off unless he got out away from all the numbers? Don thought back and remembered thinking that Charlie didn't ever look rested and he didn't remember Charlie eating much during dinner the night before he went hiking. He sighed. Charlie had been right. The odds were against him if he had stayed at home. "Alright. But don't do something like that ever again."
Charlie nodded, "I promise."
Don nodded and smiled slightly, "So, what were you watching?"
"Baseball." Came the reply.
"And I shut that off?" Don asked, "Let's see who's wining, huh?" He turned on the TV.
Charlie grinned, "Yeah. The odds were that you would never shut off the TV during a game." Charlie had to duck when a pillow came flying at his head.
A/N: Alright. I think the story is done now. Everyone happy with that ending?
My cousin is in room 84 at the hospital. Different reason than Charlie's though ...