Intervention, Version 5.0

by Fraidy Cat

Disclaimer: All characters inhabiting this story are the property of Heuton, Falacci, CBS, et al. All monetary donations will be refused by the author.

Review Policy: As of 5-19-08, the author adopts the following review policy: Please feel free to state your opinion, whether it be positive or negative. Anonymous Reviews have been disabled on this account, since the author does find it difficult to respect cowards. Any review submitted may generate a response from the author; even negative reviews will be accepted – although they may open a dialogue between the author and the reviewer.

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She rolled over in the bed, groaning, the one bleary eye she had managed to open taking in the alarm clock. It might only be 6 a.m., which was truly appalling. Of course, it was difficult to tell, her eye being bleary and all. In the end, it really didn't matter what the hell time it was – the phone was ringing incessantly, insistently, nonstop and unceasing. Damn Alexander Graham Bell, anyway.

She fumbled around on the headboard until her fingers made contact with the cordless receiver she had left there the night before. Flopping over onto her back, she ignored the wail of the nearly squished cat who had been softly snoring next to her, and brought the phone to her ear. She tried to sound as pathetic as possible, just in case it was work trying to call her in early. "Helllllllloooo?"

"I'll bet you feel pretty stupid right about now, you arrogant bitch."

Both eyes popped fully open; wide. She knew that voice. Oh, the tone and the choice of vocabulary was a little startling, but she knew; it was him. She cleared her throat, tried to stall. "Excuse me?"

He laughed, low and sexy – which at least succeeded in waking her up completely. "I can't believe you did something so stupid, anyway. You're supposed to write 'tags' AFTER an episode has been on the air! There is no such thing as a pre-emptive 'bridge' scene. You made that up."

She rolled her eyes at the ceiling, absently pushing at the mound of cat – or was that a 20-pound lump of lard? "Listen to yourself, Charlie. I make everything up. I write fanfic, for heaven's sake!"

His tone became a little more friendly, and she imagined that he was lying on his back in his own bed, completely zoning out and almost missing what he said next. "I'm not sure you should say that," he chided. "It might upset Don. Although, I'm not sure he really believes in heaven…just don't say, 'for temple's sake', okay?"

She sighed, and another, smaller cat began to creep up her leg toward her face, probably trying to determine if she was experiencing sleep apnea. "I don't know what you're in an uproar over anyway," she pointed out. "You faired well in my little tale. And you've got to admit, it's the sort of hurt/comfort angst that we're not usually offered by your bosses."

"I know," he admitted. "You should have seen me when I read the script! I mean, a brother hug – I got a brother hug! Do you have any idea how long I've waited for that?"

"About as long as I have," she grumbled under her breath, then yawned and stated the obvious. "That's why I whump you so much, you know. It's all a set-up for the recovery process. I try to squeeze in at least a touch from Don."

He snorted. "I hope you don't expect me to say 'thank-you'. I mean, really; you had me going so many directions at once in Grand Theft Brother I was nearly catatonic before it was over."

She smiled, gently kneading one of the cats; didn't much matter which one it was. "Multiple Personality Disorder," she corrected. "I thought you were supposed to be the smart one?"

"Jerk," he responded.

"Bitch," she countered. Her brow furrowed in confusion. "Wait a minute; wrong show."

"No kidding," he huffed. "I can't believe you've been cheating on us, after everything you've put us through."

She twirled a tail between her fingers. "I was beginning to think I didn't matter to you anymore," she pouted prettily. "I've been expecting a visit for quite some time. I've certainly worked hard enough to earn one, don't you think?"

His voice became low, and reverent. "You started hanging out with Serialgal," he defended. "Don and I talked, and she seriously, seriously scares the shit out of both of us. Hell, Cat, she made Donny plunge a butcher knife into my chest! She invaded my brother's brain with hardware!" His words were speeding up and becoming somewhat frantic, now. "That story is not even over! Who knows what else she has in store!"

"Actually, I do," she answered smugly. "I was her Beta."

He groaned. "As if it weren't bad enough that the two of you have been writing together; now you have to facilitate her evil genius in other ways as well?" She chuckled and he made a firm pronouncement. "You need to understand that you are the company you keep, girl."

She raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure you want to go there? You hang out with Larry."

There was a long pause in the conversation. "Point well taken," Charlie finally conceded.

There was another pause. "What are you wearing right now?" she asked at length. "Is your hair long enough for me to get a good handhold?"

"FRAIDYCAT!" he bellowed in outrage, and the feline in question lumbered to its feet and starting head-butting the telephone receiver.

She switched it to the other ear. "Not so loud," she reprimanded. "He thinks you're calling him."

She could hear Charlie's shudder through the phone line. "Not after that dumpster episode," he said, voice trembling. "I still have scars from that."

"It would behoove you to remember that cats have claws," she commented genially.

He snickered. "It would behoove your anonymous reviewers to remember the same thing."

"HA!" she shouted, and Tiger laid back his ears, leapt from the bed and ran from the room with his tail between his legs. She sighed. "He is such a wuss."

Charlie brought them back to the original subject. "Listen, I think you should repost Call for Help. Just change the summary to indicate that it's AU. The next chapters could deal with Amita's response to my marriage proposal; you could break us apart, again – we all know how much that means to you. Look at Childbirth, or Reflection in a Mirror."

The Cat teased him. "My little furball! You've been brushing up on your fanfic terminology!"

"Don't call me that," he fussed. "I'll admit, it was cute when you had Amita do it in Misunderstood, but please; you and I hardly know each other. Anyway, thanks for that thread in the forum regarding terminology; I pick up a lot there."

"Apparently," she mused, and then couldn't resist. "Furball."

"Knock it off," he insisted, starting to sound a little worried. "J.T. Morrison isn't by any chance there with you, is he?"

"Of course not," she answered. "You know he…" She stopped. "Wait; maybe we haven't posted that, yet."

"I hate you," he sniveled petulantly. "I really don't appreciate what you and Serialgal had that man do to me. Even if there is a brother hug coming, it's so not worth it."

This time she turned the conversation back to the topic at hand, reluctant to let anymore cats out of the bed. Bag. "I may take your advise regarding Call for Help," she said. "It's just that I've never left a story hanging; not once, in three years – but my time is limited, now. I work full-time, I'm starting school this week, and I work out six days a week."

Much to her chagrin, Charlie laughed loudly. "You call getting out of bed working out?" he asked.

She blushed, even though he wasn't there to see her. "You try hauling all this around, you skinny little wimp," she spat venomously. "Besides, I have a personal trainer, now."

He continued to chuckle, not at all intimidated. "More School of Hard Knocks?" he teased.

Her bosom expanded impressively, dislodging a 20-pound cat, who lumbered off the bed in search of food. "I'll have you know," she retorted, "that it's a postgraduate course in editing and proofreading."

"Dear God," he groaned. "As if you weren't nitpicky enough! You're never going to Beta for me, that's for sure!"

She pushed herself up until she was sitting in the bed. "Charlie. Do you write fanfic?" He was silent, and she whistled lowly. "You're OKB, aren't you? That's why you're always so smart and funny in her stories. Or his stories. Your stories. Whatever."

"I'm sure you must be mistaken," he answered primly. "I make no such claim."

She tried blackmail. "Look, I've tried being nice to Amita a couple of times, but if you don't come across right now, I will have no choice. I'll have to continue Call for Help and send the tramp packing."

His snigger was vexating, and she looked for a cat to toss across the room. "Whatever you feel is best," he purred.

"I hate you back," she growled into the phone.

"Now you know how I feel," he responded, a Vincent Price-esque guffaw echoing through the phone line. Before she could answer, The Cat found herself listening to a dial tone.

"AHHHHHHHHH!" she screamed in consternation, hefting the receiver and watching it bounce in several pieces off the wall. She fought with the bedcovers. "Where's my damn computer?"

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Until next time…