He knew he was going to get a sore throat sooner or later for he was straining his voice for the past few days with all the yelling.
He was the lead agent for current case and a lot of FBI personnel were involved.
They were on a trail of a syndicate of using illegal immigrants as factory workers.
They have raided a few factories and last minute instructions, Don had shouted out all the instructions and all the 'excuse me?" were not helping a bit.
Don's sore throat was due to muscle strain and rough treatment to his throat membranes repeatedly.
He went to the bathroom, took water and drank to his heart's content and his throat felt well and after that he took a shower and prepared for yet another day at the office.
"Morning" Megan greeted him, when she came breezing in and to avoid speaking,
Don held up his hand in acknowledgement and went on writing.
Megan looked at Don and wondered what he was busy writing about, just then Colby and David came in and both of them called out "Morning!"
Megan looked at them and waved.
Don looked up from the writing and looked at Megan.
Megan smiled at Don and tilted her head at him,
"So what's up?"
"Nothing." whispered Don.
"What?" David c asked Megan.
"OK Don, what gives?" asked Megan again.
"OK, I have a sore throat." croaked Don.
"Oh, no shouting at us for a week!" Colby laughed.
"Hey, I resent that! When did I ever shout at you?" came the croaky reply.
"Boys, boys, give the poor man a rest and spare our poor ears!" Megan laughed and got a glare from Don.
David came and gave Don a cup of warm tea and said,' It soothes your throat." Don looked at him suspiciously.
"Hey, its only warm tea!"
Don took a sip and muttered "Thanks!"
Megan looked at Don and shook her head, "stubborn!" and went back to her desk.
It was a quiet day for them for they had just completed one case the day before and was busy writing up the reports for Don.
Then a call came in and it rang a few times, Don did nothing.
Megan gave a sigh, stood up and picked up the call.
"FBI, Agent Reeves speaking," Megan said, looking at Don.
"Agent Reeves, where is Agent Eppes?"
"Oh Hi, Alan, good morning, you are looking for Don?"
"Oh yes, Megan, that's why I called his line, this is his line isn't it?"
"Yeess, this is his line, I am at his desk at the moment looking at some reports. Yes, Don? Oh yes, where is Don?"
Megan covered the mouthpiece and looked at Don and tilted her head at him and mouth," You want to talk to your dad?"
Don looked at her and shook his head.
"Oh yes, sorry Alan, I just asking David, eh.. Don is currently with Merrick. Oh yes, will be sometime, I get him to return your call. OK, not at all, bye." Megan put down the phone and looked at Don.
"You got an hour to think of something."
"If I were you, I'll come clean with your dad. Tell him you have a sore throat and that you will take the day off tomorrow and that you will spend the day with him and Charlie." Megan smile at Don.
"Very funny! If I wanted that I would have taken off today." croaked Don.
"Oh please, spare us your frog's croak." Megan laughed and walked off.
Don kept quiet and after an hour he took his files and went off to lock himself in the conference room.
He had written Megan a note and left it on her table when he saw Megan leave her table to get a cup of coffee.
He has really 'chicken out' to make that call to his father, not that he was scared of his father, it's that that he'll become a mother hen all over him and will be treating him like a little kid.
There would be no escape but he needed to complete all his reports before he'd come clean with his dad, truth be he was really behind time in his reports which was due 3 days ago and another new one to complete.
They were on a heavy case of tracking /catching a syndicate using illegal immigrants as factory workers last week and it had only completed just 2 days ago and everything got piled up.
He needed to finished all his reports before any more cases get dumped on his desk. His team members should know by know how tedious reports could become if it gets piled up.
He took the easy way out and wrote the note to Megan which says,
"You are in charge today. I am going to finish my reports and any disturbances from you or my father knows I will personally hand all my reports for you to complete. I do not want to be disturbed today.
Let Colby and David know, they will get same treatment if I were disturbed today."
Megan came back with her cup of coffee and was surprised that Don's table was empty. She stood and looked round the department for him but was unable to locate him.
Then she saw a folded note with her name on it.
She took it and read it.
She took the note to David and Colby and they read the note and were smiling to themselves.
"Huh? Is Don scared of Alan?" asked Colby.
"No, not really." David said, "It's just that our boss hates to be bossed about by his old man."
All three of them started laughing and just then Charlie breezed in.
"Hi guys! Where's Don?"
Megan and the guys got startled. David and Colby said hi to Charlie and quickly moved back to their places.
Megan slowly squashed the note and put it inside her pants pocket.
She smiled at Charlie, "Hi Charlie, looking for Don?
Don is busy writing up reports and he doesn't want to be disturbed for the time being.
Anything I can help you with?"
Charlie looked at Megan and was puzzled at the reaction of David and Colby,
Charlie squint his eyes and was puzzled at the reaction of the other two, he looked directly at Megan's eyes and said," Don is sick, isn't he?"
Megan looked at Charlie and said, "Hey, my job's on the line here. Ok tell you what, come with me."
Charlie followed Megan to the Conference room, she knocked on the door and waited for sometime, it was opened.
Don stared at Megan, and Megan said, "You said Alan only."
"This here is not Alan; this is Charlie, your brother."
She pushed Charlie in and she closed the door and walked off.
Don turned and went back to his report.
Charlie walked to his brother and put a hand to his head but it got knocked off by his brother's hand.
Charlie did it again and Don stood up and stared at his brother.
Charlie tilted his head at his brother, "Aha, you've got a sore throat."
"So?" whispered his brother.
"So you are hiding here and not receiving calls from dad and you got Megan to intercept all your calls."
"Very good Professor, now get and leave me in peace. Reports don't get all written by itself." whispered Don.
"I take it you do not want Dad to know?"
Don stared at Charlie, daring him to say something.
"Okay, but I don't know how long I can pretend ignorance.
Ah, Dad will be calling for you to come home for dinner tonight.
He's making rib eye especially for you big bro."
With that Charlie waggled his fingers at him and went out.
Don continued with his reports way over his lunchtime, he did not even bother with lunch.. His throat was sore and really did not feel like eating or drinking. From breakfast he took a cup of tea which David gave him and for lunch he had with him a bottle of water.
Suddenly a cup of coffee appeared before him on the table.
Don looked up and saw Charlie again.
He carried his backpack and proceeds to sit down in front of Don and moved the coffee away from him.
Don looked at him and queried him with his eyes.
"I phone Megan and she told me you did not even come out for lunch, so since I do not have any afternoon classes, I thought I come and have lunch with you before I go home."
Charlie then proceeded to take out sandwiches from his bag pack and a packet of apples.
Don reached out for the coffee but was stopped by Charlie who then took from his backpack a bottle of Gatorade for Don.
Don stared at him, reached out before Charlie could stop him, and took the coffee for himself.
He looked at Charlie and wanted to decline the sandwiches but when he saw Charlie's concerned face, he said thanks and took the sandwiches
Charlie gave a resigned look and took Gatorade for himself.
They ate in companionable silence and after a while, he said
"So are you coming for dinner?"
Charlie thought his brother's voice was getting worse, he can't help but worry. He knows Don will not listen to him when he tells him to see a doctor. And the only person who can get him to go is their Dad.
Their Dad will suffer no nonsense from both of them and most of the time Don will get away with it but not him, because his dad stays with him.
He knows that Don will not let on to their father that he has a sore throat.
So he tries a different approach.
"Hey, Don, you better take care of your sore throat, if you do not want it to turn real bad."
Charlie went on to list the remedies for Don.
"It's easy just increase your liquid intake.
You can have warm tea with honey, I think this method will be best prescribed at home, Dad does a very nice warm tea with honey."
Don stopped writing and looked up and stared at him and Charlie looked him innocently and continued….
"Oh, another method which is the easiest, just gargle with warm salt water several times daily, or you can take mild pain relievers such as Tylenol and Ibufen.
Dad has plenty of those at home."
Don glared at Charlie and croaked loudly this time,
"Charlie, shut up!'
"Oh don't worry, you can hear it from me only, I can give you all the cures listen or not up to you."
And before Charlie can continue,
Don muttered one word, "Not."
And it was a one sided conversation, Charlie rattled on and on and Don just kept on munching on his lunch. Swallowing turns out to be a bit painful, he just threw his sandwiches down and started to clear the table.
Don cleans up the table and turned to Charlie, "Time's up" he whispered,
"And thanks for lunch."
Charlie took his backpack and rummages inside and came up with some throat lozenges which he kept for his own use when he needs to talk a lot in his classes.
He held it in his hand for his brother and said," I use this a lot when I have to really talk a lot in class, not that I don't talk a lot but when I…... It's really good,"
Don took it from him and muttered, "Thanks!"
"Don, come home for dinner? I promised I won't say anything to Dad."
Don looked at Charlie and said, "Maybe, call you later, OK?"
Charlie was pleased; at least Don will call him later.
"OK, Bye." and he was off, again. ;-)