Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I don't make any money off of them.
A/N: Written when listening to the song "One of These Mornings" by Moby. Complete lyrics can be found at the end of the story. Thanks as always to ritt, the world's best beta and sounding board!
"One of these mornings
Won't be very long…"
"And I'll be enjoying the great outdoors," Charlie sang happily as he finished the song with his own words. His car windows were down and he couldn't help but notice that it was a perfect morning in the City of Angels. The sun was smiling down from a cloudless sky and a nice, crisp fall breeze kept the temperature hovering at the perfect warmth.
It is, Charlie grinned, the perfect day for a mountain hike. And that's exactly what he and Larry planned to do as soon as Charlie finished his last consulting job for Don. Just one case file of data needing to be dropped off at his brother's office – the main suspects already identified and waiting for Don to do a little more in depth digging. Too bad he has to work today, Charlie thought as he inhaled the unusually fresh air. It's been forever since we've gone hiking together. Sure, there will be other days but I doubt they will ever be as perfect as this one.
Brake lights in front of him caused Charlie to frown and he slowed the car as a sigh escaped him. He was really expecting traffic to be decent since it was early Saturday morning, but apparently fate had other plans. He impatiently checked his watch and drummed his fingers on the steering wheel as the cars ahead of him started to creep forward at a snail's pace. Daylight's burning, he scowled as the speedometer approached and then quickly shied away from fifteen miles per hour.
As the minutes crept by, Charlie got closer to the source of the traffic problem and his ire increased. Rubbernecking? You've got to be kidding me! But it was no joke – his side of the road had merely slowed down to ogle the accident across the barrier from them. Charlie was so disgusted that he barely gave the wreck and surrounding LAPD cars a glance as the vehicles in front of him returned to the speed limit.
Okay, he thought as he glanced at his watch again. I can still do this. Just run up to Don's floor, hand him the file, wave and bolt out the door before anyone asks me any questions. That will leave me just enough time to meet up with Larry and we'll still have most of the day to hike.
Confident in his calculations, Charlie cruised down the road, a smile on his face as the wind blew through the open windows and tangled his hair. Yep, the perfect day.
"Hey, Charlie," the agent smiled. "You looking for Don?"
"I've got the data he wanted," the professor told her as he held up the file and walked to his brother's desk. "I'm in a bit of a hurry so I'm just going to leave this here for Don, okay? Will you make sure he gets it?" Charlie was already turning to leave the bullpen when Megan stopped him.
"He's not here."
"What? He told me he needed the data this morning. I even delayed plans with Larry to bring this over."
"He got a call from a witness in Altadena," she informed him. "It was urgent so he had to go. He tried calling your cell to tell you he could stop by the house to pick it up on his way up there but you didn't answer."
"My cell?" Charlie repeated as he dug the phone out of his pocket. He turned a nice shade of red and sighed. "Looks like I forgot to charge it."
"That's pretty much what Don thought," Megan chuckled. "You can leave it here and I'll make sure he gets it."
"No, I'd better call him and let him know." The professor borrowed Megan's phone and punched in his brother's number. "Besides, I probably owe him a bit of an apology."
"He was trying to save you time, Charlie, not the other way around."
"Yeah, but there's this bad accident on the northbound side of the 110 and he probably got stuck in traffic. You know how much he hates traffic."
"Your brother?" she chuckled. "Mister Patient? I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Whatever," the genius teased. "Anyway, it's pretty bad. I got stuck in the onlooker's delay for almost an hour."
"Tell me about it. I mean why would anyone want to see something that bad? Not that there was even much to see – unless you're into flashing lights." Charlie stopped speaking and sighed as his brother's phone went straight to voicemail. "Turn about's fair play, I suppose."
"He's not answering?"
"No. Probably turned it off to teach me a lesson."
"Or he doesn't want to be bothered while he's interviewing the witness."
"I guess. Tell him I left the file here, would you? I'm already going to be late meeting Larry."
"No problem," she smiled. "Tell Larry I said hi."
"Will do." Charlie had almost reached the elevator bank when he ran into David. "Hey." The distracted agent looked up and Charlie's stomach knotted at the look on his face. "You okay, man?"
"LAPD just called," he answered in shock.
"What's up?" Megan asked from her desk.
David shook his head and leaned on the nearest desk. His sad eyes locked onto Charlie's and the professor's body went cold at expression of despair on the agent's face. No, it can't be… "Charlie, there was a fatal accident on the 110 this morning…"
The agent's voice faded into the background as Charlie flashed back to the accident he'd barely looked at. Now he scrambled for details – anything to contradict what David was telling him.
"I'm so sorry, Charlie."
The young man didn't even register Megan's soft voice as he buried his head in his hands and felt hot tears running down his cheeks. But this was supposed to be the perfect morning, he silently sobbed. How could this happen?
The song from earlier popped into his mind and with a sudden start, he realized that fate had tried to give him a warning. His tears flowed faster as the words played in his mind…
of these mornings
Won't be very long
You will look for me
And I'll be gone."