Title:V is for Vanilla Sky


Disclaimer:I don't own anything of consequence as regards to this piece of fiction. I wouldn't mind owning a better keyboard, though.

Author's Note:Remember the movie Vanilla Sky? Well, neither do I, I think I watched that film in a daze but what I do remember is this tiny little picture in my head, of this scene (vague, I know, but if you know the film, you'll probably remember the scene I'm referring to while you're reading). And that is what inspired this little ficcie, and it's only right the movie gets a mention. Also, I couldn't come up with another title.

Oh, and I've decided to try and finish the entire alphabet. Yes, I know I'm crazy, but please, I can't type with a straight jacket on!

V is for Vanilla Sky

Charlie lifted his head up as he woke from the depths of unconsciousness. What he felt was an immediate stab of fear as he surveyed his unfamiliar surroundings, sitting against a wall, in a non-descript room, void of everything save him. Confusion prevailed and Charlie was about to get up in order to test the door on the opposite wall when a voice stopped him:

"I wouldn't bother if I was you."

Charlie looked to his left in shock; he could have sworn he was alone in the room.

"Don? What are you doing here?" asked Charlie, in shock.

"I could ask you the same thing, Chuck," said Don simply, "You're here so I'm here."

"And why am I here?" asked Charlie, carefully peering at his brother, who was sitting next to him, mimicking his position, but was looking way too relaxed than Charlie would have expected.

"A bunch of guys kidnapped you. At least, I hope they were guys. Only you would get kidnapped by a bunch of women," Don commented.

"You're here as well, you got kidnapped too," added Charlie.

"In a way, I guess you could say that," said Don, mulling over the idea.

Thinking he would address the question of Don's confusing attitude later, he asked, "Why won't you let me check the door? Why kidnap me and just leave me sitting in a room?"

"You don't remember the last two times you woke up?" Charlie shook his head. "You tested the door then too, its locked shut, no way to open it from the inside and you're just sitting here because the people who kidnapped you probably only want you as bargaining chip, nothing more. Be glad they've left you alone," advised Don.

"You keep talking as if I'm the only one in this situation," protested Charlie, "You're here too."

"I'm only here because you want me here, Charlie," stated Don simply.

"What? Why would I want you kidnapped with me?" asked Charlie, furious to know that his brother thought Charlie wanted him in danger.

"I didn't say I was kidnapped, Charlie," said Don, now smiling.

"Will you stop with the semantics? You're here, with me. I've been kidnapped; you must have been kidnapped as well. I don't think they would allow you to saunter in to keep me company! What other explanation is there?" asked Charlie, baffled.

"How about one that says you're hallucinating? That if anybody were to walk in now, they would see you talking to thin air," Don said, turning his head to look his brother straight in the eyes for the first time.

"Stop kidding around, Don. How are you here?" asked Charlie, thinking the kidnappers must have given his brothers some drugs to make him act like this.

"Well, scientifically speaking, I'd say it was an effect of your low blood sugar, they haven't given you any drugs but neither have they given you anything to eat, and you're getting hypoglycaemic. As to why I in particular, don't ask me to explain your freaky mind, even though I am a manifestation of that mind," said Don, bringing his legs up to his chest and putting his forearms on his knees.

Charlie stared at his brother, or if what Don was saying was true, his hallucination. Deciding to test it out, Charlie began to reach out to poke his brother but before he could, his actions were interrupted.

"I wouldn't do that, bro," advised Don.

"And why not?" asked Charlie, hand hovering in mid-air, albeit it was shaking.

"One, I hate it when people poke me. And two, it's good enough that you're getting an audio/visual hallucination. I don't think you're hypoglycaemic enough to get a corporeal one," said Don, "So unless you want me to disappear, don't poke me."

Charlie immediately let his hand fall, and not only because it was taking too much energy out of him to hold it up. Staring at the wall in front of him, ignoring his hallucination for a few minutes, Charlie thought back to all he remembered, which wasn't much.

"Don't bother your head about it, Charlie. It was a pretty quick affair. One guy sneaked up behind you and chloroformed you. They've left you alone since then. Can't say how long it's been exactly but don't worry, I'll get you out of here soon enough," said Don.

"You're a hallucination, what can you do?" asked Charlie, scoffing,

"Well, I can call you a smartass and tell you that I was referring to the real me. I'm just here to keep you company until your lovely big brother who is corporeal arrives with the cavalry," said Don. Looking down at his apparel, he remarked, "The least you could have done was imagine me in some casual clothes. Do you always think I'm dressed in a dark suit and tie?"

"Well, since you're always working, wouldn't it make sense to imagine you in your work clothes?" asked Charlie, resigned to his imaginary companion. He wouldn't say it but he knew exactly why it was Don of all people next to him: It was always around Don that he felt safest and not just because Don was an FBI agent who carried a big weapon and knew more than one way to kill a man.

"You feel safest around me? That's sweet, Chuck," commented Don.

Charlie looked at his brother in surprise, "How did you know that? I didn't say anything!" asked Charlie, flabbergasted.

"I'm a manifestation of your mind, Charlie, your subconscious. Let me have some cool mind- reading abilities, seeing as how I'm pretty much useless right now," said Don.

Recognizing his brother's frustration that stemmed from not being in control of his situation, Charlie smiled. "Don't say that. You're here to tease me into staying awake and not falling into a coma. It's all part of your master plan."

"Wouldn't imagining Larry or Amita have worked better? They could have talked work with you and you would have still been talking on one subject by the time I got here," wondered Don.

"Maybe, but if I am hypoglycaemic, I don't think my mind is up for highly intellectual conversations. In any case, you're enough of an exercise as it is," said Charlie.

"How so? And keeping in mind the fact that I am a hallucination and that anything you say or do will not be getting back to the real me, don't pull any punches," said Don.

"It feels like you're reading me my Miranda rights, bro, what are you going to do if I don't sit still? Pull out some imaginary handcuffs and chain me to you?" asked Charlie, closing his eyes as he began to feel the lure of sleep.

"Hey, no sleeping!" ordered Don, "Don't make me repeat to you the ghost stories I used to tell you when we were kids and they used to keep you awake at night!"

"I think we're both kinda old for ghost stories, Don," said Charlie, blinking his eyes repeatedly to fight off sleep.

"Considering the fact that I'll always be your big brother and you're always going to be my little brother, I can still scare the crap out of you," said Don.

"Oh yeah? How's that?" asked Charlie.

"Telling you about some of the close calls I've had with my years in the FBI, is one way," said Don, eyeing his brother who immediately looked more alert, as well as afraid. The fear was an adverse effect but the most important thing now was to keep Charlie awake.

"You're in my head, I don't know about them, so you can't tell me about them," reasoned Charlie frantically.

"Maybe so, but you have an imagination Charlie, I can make your worst nightmare seem like it almost actually happened, simply because I'll be saying it, and you'll be hearing my voice stating the facts," said Don, a look of regret barely passing over his features before resolve settled.

Charlie said nothing to this, but any vestiges of sleep were removed as the familiar fear for his brother took hold, even making him forget his hunger and thirst. Satisfied now that Charlie wasn't in any near danger of having a visit from the Sandman, Don hurried to ease his fears.

"It's ok, Charlie, I'm still here, in one piece, and pretty soon I'll be coming through that door. All you have to do is make sure you're awake until then. There's no way you're leaving me alone to handle the front for grandchildren," said Don, moving to put a hand on his brother's shoulder but thinking better of it just before he made contact.

Charlie's head jerked up from his position at staring at his hands at the though of his father, "Oh man, Dad must be freaking out."

"That's for sure. And probably driving me crazy as we look for you. And I'm pretty sure some comments about how this would never have happened if I hadn't dragged you into my world will filter through," sighed Don.

"He always forgets the fact that I was consulting for the NSA long before I ever started consulting for the FBI," said Charlie, attempting to ease the guilt of the brother who only existed in his mind.

"That may be so, but I'm pretty sure you never got targeted by a sniper or by the Russian mob because of your work at the NSA, bro," countered Don.

"And my math has led you into dangerous conflict, not least of which resulted in you getting shot in the arm during the bank robbery case," retorted Charlie.

"It was a graze. And it's my job, Charlie, I know the risks, I have the training,"

"I know the risks as well, I still choose to consult, and you've yet to fail to protect me," said Charlie.

"For a guy who hasn't eaten in a while, you're still coming up with some reasonably valid arguments. I would have thought you to be picturing Hungarian goulash right about now," said Don, subtly changing the subject.

"Which reminds me, you ditched the last goulash I made, you better try the next one," warned Charlie.

"Or what? You're going to start a food fight with me? Stick to math bro, I still won't trust your cooking skills, considering you burnt the rib eye to a crisp a few weeks ago," Don replied.

Before Charlie could defend his culinary skills, both brothers turned their heads towards the sounds of commotion that had begun to filter through, hearing the unmistakable sound of gunshots and people shouting. Don could feel his brother begin to shake next to him, as the symptoms of his low blood sugar collided with his valid fear for his life. Standing up and placing himself between the door and his brother, Don looked back and said, "Put your head down, bro, and it'll all be over soon, don't worry."

Charlie did what he was told, placing his forehead on his knees and using his arms to cover his ears. He didn't notice how much time has passed or that the gunfire had stopped and that the door to his cell had opened with light pouring in. However, he did notice the strong grip on his arms, the hand on his head trying to get him to look up and Charlie complied when he heard the voice speaking with him.

"Charlie? Charlie? Look at me bro, it's me," said the figure in front of him, clad in black, wearing protective eye-wear and such an expression of relief and happiness Charlie had never before seen on his brother's face. He had barely registered the undeniably corporeal form of his brother when he was engulfed in a heavily armoured body as Don wrapped his arms around him, Charlie reciprocating in kind after taking a few seconds to process the embrace for what it was.

Don drew back after a few moments but didn't let go of his death grip on Charlie's arms and appraising his brother's physical condition with a critical eye, "Are you okay? Are you injured in any way?"

"I'm fine Don, just…a little bit hungry," said Charlie.

Don smiled grimly at the understatement, having noted the gaunt starved look of his brother, "I bet. But that's going to be easily fixed, alright? A lot of people were worried," I was worried, "and they're going to look forward to fattening you up again. We're here now," I'm here, "let's take you home."

"Didn't doubt your coming for a second, bro," stated Charlie, reaching up to grip his brother's bicep, deriving his own strength from a touch that had been denied to him for hours, maybe days. "I wasn't worried. You've kept me company for quite a bit all the while."

Khatum (The End)

There you are. A bit of a challenge for my muse, figuring out how to write dialogue for Don-but-not-really. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go with this, only what the situation was. Don't be surprised if I do a complete overhaul one fine day.

As for the medical reasons, just swing with me.

Hope you liked. Reviews would be nice. And there might be a lot of hugging in future fics, considering I just came back from a road trip to visit my brother who I love hugging. Imagine hugging a brick wall you can wrap your arms around.

Oh, and the scene from the movie I was talking about was this picure in my head of Tom Cruise and Kurt Russel sitting against a wall. It just remained with me for some reason. So, what's the verdict?