Alan was setting everything up for the family BBQ that he was hosting for his grandson's 4th birthday. Isaac had said that he wanted to have one of Granddad's special BBQs for his birthday. It was just going to be Charlie, Amita and their two girls (Aliyah and Rebekah) and Don, Robin and their two kids (Isaac and baby Pandora). Alan had been shopping the day before and bought all the necessary things to have a feast of food for the whole family. Don had phoned earlier in the day to ask if he could bring anything to the party and say that Isaac had had a lovely time with his friends and Robin's parents the previous day. Alan had told him that he had everything under control and to just bring their charming selves.
There was a knock on the door just as Alan was getting the BBQ heated up, he put the cover back down on the BBQ and went to open the door. He was greeted by a double hug from his 2 oldest granddaughters.
"Mommy is helping Daddy bring everything in, she said we could run ahead and give you your present." Aliyah told him excitedly handing him a bag that looked as if it contained a bottle of wine. Alan was surprised that Amita had trusted the 8 year old with the bottle then realised that it was plastic so it was unlikely to have done any damage if she had dropped it. He did think that these new plastic wine bottles were really clever.
"Thank You very much, does Mommy or Daddy need any help bringing everything in?" asked Alan as he let the two bubbly little girls passed him into the house.
"Maybe," called Aliyah over her shoulder as she helped her little sister with her shoes.
Just as he was about to go and see whether Charlie and Amita needed any help in presumable bringing in the rolls and the girls' toys. Amita arrived at the door loaded down with stuff. Alan thought he would have to have a word with Charlie making Amita carry so much in.
"Need a hand Amita?" asked Alan,
"Yeah that would be great" replied Amita handing him two almost identical backpacks except one had an A on it and the other a R. "Charlie is just coming."
Alan took the two backpacks putting them on the sofa and then went to check on the BBQ leaving the front door open so Charlie could get in. Amita was pulling everything out of her bags onto the table when Alan got outside. He helped her unload everything that he had asked her to bring. Alan checked round to make sure his granddaughters were not in the way before he checked on the BBQ and saw his youngest son struggling with a few bags. Once Charlie dropped them on the table Alan realised why he had been struggling he seemed to have his full arm in plaster (which was covered in children's drawings and signatures) and in a black sling.
"What happened Son? You didn't tell me you had hurt yourself!" Alan asked surprised, Charlie had not mentioned anything about any kind of accident.
"Erm I broke my arm, not a very interesting story. Don't worry it looks worse than it is." Charlie replied turning more and more red.
Just then Don and his family arrived, "The door was open," said Don turning and seeing Charlie's arm, "What happened Chuck?"
"It's nothing….." started Charlie, but was interrupted by his youngest daughter,
"Was this the story we weren't allowed to tell Granddad and Uncle Donny, Daddy?" asked Rebekah confused
"What story darling?" asked Don bending down to the 5 year old's height.
"Daddy said we couldn't tell you as you would make fun of him Uncle Donny." Replied Rebekah, trying not to laugh at the secret she was trying to keep.
"Oh just tell them Charlie, they will find out sooner or later," laughed Amita, bringing out the jug of lemonade.
"Oh fine! I shattered my arm during that arm wrestling comp at Cal Sci,"
"You broke…..your arm…..arm wrestling….you're joking…right Chuck?" said Don between uncontrollable fits of laughter. "Not very Macho really is it? Who were you arm wrestling Mike Tyson?"
"No but he was a former Marine" replied Charlie sheepishly, "It happens more often that you would have thought. People breaking their arm, arm wrestling I mean. It is all to do with the phenomenal twisting forces the arm goes under while arm wrestling. It is not so much the strength of the opponent. Only about ¼ of the cases have had a stronger opponent." Trying to reclaim some dignity by showing he wasn't the only one this happened to.
"Still hilarious that you managed to require major surgery to pin the arm back together after arm wrestling" laughed Don still not able to keep his laughter at bay over how funny he thought Charlie's predicament was.
Robin came out of the house carrying Pandora with one arm and a bowl of potato salad with the other. Charlie took the bowl from her in an attempt to stop the humiliation. Pandora tried to wriggle out of her mother's grasp. Robin decided to put her down on the grass wondering if maybe she wanted to crawl about.
Alan tried to distract Don away from tormenting his brother by getting him to BBQ the burgers, ribs and sausages on the grill. Charlie decided to get all the kids over to one bit of the garden so that Isaac could open all his presents. Amita looked over at her husband and got worried when she noticed him adjusting the sling and looking in a great deal of pain. It had been quite funny when Charlie had phoned from the ER on Thursday, asking if she could come. Though it got bad pretty quickly when she had to try to keep two little girls occupied and stop them from further injuring their daddy. After surgery to repair the shattered bones, Charlie had been released to the wonderful care of his wife. Amita biggest problem yesterday had been trying to keep her husband from trying to use his broken arm to write out equations for what he was meant to be teaching his sophomore class first period on Monday. She tried to convince him that he had to be patient and that he would be allowed to write and do normal things but not for the next few weeks.
Amita went over to make sure that Charlie's arm didn't get knocked, he wasn't due painkillers for another 2 hours and she didn't want him to be in pain. It had been hard enough with two little kids who didn't quite realise that Daddy couldn't join in their games it would be even worse with 4. Amita sent Aliyah and Rebekah to grab the bags of pressies for their cousin.
Once they had returned, Aliyah with a large green bag with a monster on it and Rebekah with a slightly smaller bag that she had picked out which looked like the night sky with a large rocket on it, Amita picked up Pandora (to keep her out of trouble) and told Isaac to open his presents. Robin came over (bringing Alan's presents for Isaac with her) to sit with them on the picnic blanket to see her son open his lovely presents from his Auntie and Uncle and Granddad. Aliyah proudly told Isaac that the ones in the rocket bag were from her and Rebekah and the other bag was from her Mommy and Daddy.
Having torn the paper off at a phenomenal rate, Isaac had a large pile of presents in front of him. There was:
A game for him to play in the bath which had people shaped targets(like those at a shooting range) and a water pistol to shoot them with (so he could be like his daddy and shoot the bad guys)
A star shaped box full of kids bath stuff which smelled like apples and strawberries (his two favourite fruits)
There was also a large cookie that said Happy 4th Birthday Isaac in green icing.
A little fox in a red box (he had told his Uncle Charlie that was all he wanted for his birthday like the Dr Seuss book. Charlie and Amita hadn't realised how hard it would be to get.)
A box full of Star Trek and Star wars action figures. (They had been Charlie's and he decided to give them to his nephew)
A LA Angels shirt which had Eppes and a 4 on the back
Just as Isaac was finishing expecting all the presents when Don declared the BBQ open for business. The 3 older kids rushed over to the table to grab everything they wanted before their parents could tell them off that they had too much on their plate or to be more healthy in their choices. In the confusion of rushing bodies Charlie got knocked over before he could get out of the way. Of course due to Murphy's Law he fell on his sore arm. The screech of pain stopped all the children dead, none of them knew what to do or really what had happened. Amita rushed past them to help Charlie up and guided him over to one of the chair sitting next to the picnic blanket.
"Do you need anything Charlie?" Amita asked the worry evident on her face.
"Errrr…..A glass of water…would be great and maybe some Ibuprofen….I haven't had that yet have I" trying to talk coherently through the grunts of pain.
Everyone had crowded round them to make sure Charlie was ok.
"No you haven't had that yet today, practically everything else in our medicine cabinet. I think you were going to have the kid's cough medicine next." Amita tried to joke to try to take Charlie's mind of his arm.
"Chuck I'll get you some," Don said as he rushed off to grab some out of the kitchen along with the glass of water which he spilled all over himself in his hurry to get back. He handed it to Charlie nearly spilling over him as well. "Did you really take everything out of the medicine cabinet?"
"Thanks Don, no I think Amita was joking to try to cheer me up." Replied Charlie, he was rubbing his arm in an attempt to alleviate the pain.
"Sorry Daddy," Aliyah said trying not to cry that she had hurt her Daddy.
"It's fine darling," pulling his daughter in for a one armed hug, "it was an accident, don't worry."
They settle back to having the lovely BBQ that Alan and Don had prepared. They mocked Charlie's attempt at trying to eat with his left hand. They thought the past few days would have given him enough practice to not look like a complete idiot but no he still looked like a baby foal trying to walk.
Just as Amita and Robin were bringing out the Jelly and Ice-Cream, Don's cell phone started ringing. Don answered the phone and discovered they had a new case at work.
"Don it's Sunday and it's your Son's birthday, can't you take one day off work?" asked Robin
"Sorry Darling, really important case has come up, the ME is really stumped on this one. She just got out of hospital this morning and now she is dead."
Turning to Isaac "Really sorry Buddy, Daddy has to go catch the Bad Guys. I'll make it up to you."
"It is ok Daddy, promise you will make Cheesy Swirls tomorrow for Dinner and I'll forgive you Daddy. Love you Daddy. See you when you get home" Isaac said hugging his daddy.
"If you need my help in anyway Don just call." Interjected Charlie, but his comment was met with a "Look" from Amita.
"Charlie, you just got out the hospital, the Doctor told you to rest not solve crimes," scolded Amita.
"I'll call you if I need you Charlie," responded Don, kissing Robin and then left.
Don arrived at the Office and was greeted by the new agent Mike Hunt, who had only just started working at the LA Office last week. Don wasn't sure how Mike had managed to swing going from Quantico to Don's Elite Team. Though Mike seemed to be a hard worker (which Don respected) and brought fresh ideas to the Team.
"It seems a strange case Boss, the victim Melanie Clark was 22, she was in Hospital to have Key Hole surgery to remove a grumbling appendix. The report says that her vitals were good and she was discharged. Her Aunt phoned her to see if she was coming over and went over to her apartment when she did not get an answer. She found Melanie dead. This was yesterday, the ME said that she died of major internal bleeding, it seems the clip on the blood vessel was not properly attached and came off" finished Mike
"Sounds a simple case of malpractice, not checking that the blood vessels were clipped off properly. Open and shut case, why have we got the case?"
"It seems to be more to it as the video shows the doctor checking that they are properly clipped."
"Have we checked the equipment to make sure it has not been tampered with?" asked Don
"That was where I was just going to go before you arrived but David said to wait until you arrived and then you could come as well as he felt I was not ready yet to go on my own." Said Mike somehow all without taking a breath.
"Don't be so self-conscious, you can take the lead on these interviews, I will just supervise."
When they investigated the equipment at the hospital they discovered that there was damage to some of the equipment which had been used to conduct the Keyhole surgery. The found out that the instruments came in packs of 3 and only one of this new batch (the faulty batch) in the fatal surgery meaning that new other surgeries could end fatally. The discovered that the next surgery that Dr Stewart had performed was on a College star quarterback called Jason Polleski. He had been already released. They decided that they would have to hope he would be survive until they could get help to him.
Don drove to Jason's house, when they arrived Mike rushed in closely followed by Don. They found Jason collapsed on the floor. Unconscious but still alive, Mike went outside to tell the ambulance that Jason needed immediate help (they had decided to have an ambulance follow them encase. The medics with the help of the Doctor (surgeon) that had come along as well encase his services were needed. They got Jason stable enough that he could be transferred back to hospital for life saving surgery.
Don realised that they had only accounted for 2 out of 3 of the faulty sets of equipment. They would have to go back to the hospital to find the last set before anyone else's life was put in danger. While Mike searched for the last set of faulty equipment, Don phoned the lab to get the results on the set of equipment that had been used in Melanie's surgery. The lab said that the equipment had been deliberately tampered with to cause massive internal bleeding in the patient.
Don phoned his team (after getting off the phone to the lab) to look through to see if anyone at the hospital had a link to Melanie. Hopefully they would be able to find a connection that might lead to who had tampered with the equipment.
Mike came over to Don shortly afterwards to tell him that the last set of equipment had been found and that a little 4 year old boy's life had been saved in the process as the faulty equipment was found on the tray about to be used to operate on him. Don sent Mike to find out Jason's condition and see if there was any news on the matter.
Don's phoned Buzzed at that point,
"Don its David, we can't find any links between Melanie and anyone at the hospital apart from the obvious fact that she was in hospital there. We did find though a connection between one of the nurses and the second victim Jason. Jason was involved in a car crash 4 years ago with 4 friends from school. They were driving home from a party. The driver was drunk as were all the people in the car. Jason was the only one that survived. Simon Whittaker was another passenger in the car he was killed instantaneously, his mother works at the hospital as a nurse. She vocally blamed Jason for letting Simon get in the car. Simon being younger looked up to Jason apparently according to the reports. Maybe she saw this as a way to get revenge on the boy see holds responsible for her son's death. Possibly Melanie was a victim of circumstance." Reported David,
"I'll talk to the nurse see what I can find out, will also look to see if maybe the schedules were changed and Jason was meant to be the first surgery today or something." Replied Don
Just as Don had finished his conversation with David, Mike came back in looking very excited.
"Melanie wasn't meant to be the first surgery today. The doctors got worried when she spiked a fever that her appendix was going to burst before they could operate and as Jason's surgery could be put back a couple of hours, Melanie went first. Maybe she wasn't the intended victim, maybe it was Jason. "
"That was what David and I were just talking about, he says there is a nurse who might hold a grunge against Jason due to a car accident that killed her son."
"We should go interview her then, shouldn't we" doubting himself again.
"Sounds a good idea, you take the lead" in an attempt to try to boost his confidence. Don could always help if need be.
They went in search of the nurse hoping they had just solved the case.
The nurse confessed when they confronted her. She had hoped it would all be put down to malpractice or faulty equipment. She had only meant for the equipment to be used for the one surgery. She was going to get rid of it before anyone else found out or was hurt. But when the schedule was changed she panicked and thought the case would be stronger for it to be malpractice if it was more than one case. She thought no-one would suspect her if it wasn't only Jason who was "injured". It had got out of hand she never meant for anyone apart from Jason to die she had meant to keep Melanie in until she started showing signs of the tampering. The problem had been that she had been called away to a cardiac arrest so couldn't make sure Melanie wasn't discharged.
They arrested the nurse and made their way back to the office, when they arrived David offered to do Don's paperwork so Don could get back home and spend as much time as he had left with his son on his birthday.
It was just after 7 when Don got home, he hoped Robin would let Isaac stay up more than just till 7:30 (his usual bedtime). When he entered the Living Room, Robin was sitting on the sofa with Isaac Curled up next to her and they were reading a book called First Snow, which Isaac loved as you didn't get snow in California. Don sat down next to them while they finished the story. He didn't want to interrupt as he knew it was Isaac Favourite Book.
When they were finished Isaac noticed that his Daddy was home and smothered him in a hug. He was so glad his daddy had got home before he had to go to bed. He was very proud of his Daddy getting all the Bad guys but he did sometimes wish that his Daddy wasn't so busy and they could play together more. Mummy and Pandora were ok but they were girls and girls weren't quite as good as boys in his opinion. (He was only 4 so he was allowed to not know that his mummy would be very annoyed if she knew he thought like that. She thought boys and girls were equally good). Mummy agreed that since it was still light outside they could go play catch in the yard for a wee while but then it would be time for Isaac to go to bed. She secretly hoped it might tire Isaac out making him easier to put to bed. He had been so hyper all day (understandably) and she feared he would be a nightmare to try to put down tonight.
Don found their gloves and a suitably soft ball so that Isaac would hurt his hand when he caught it (or threw it at Daddy's face as he had done by accident with Uncle Charlie last time they played. Charlie's nose still looked a bit crooked even now.) They played for nearly an hour, talking about what Isaac was doing at preschool and about the new girl in his class called Helene who was from France. Isaac really liked the new girl and hoped they could be friends. Don loved the fact he had got to spend time just with Isaac finding out what was going on. He loved his job but he hated the fact that he missed so much in his kids' lives. He vowed to try as hard as he could to make it home more for meal times and to spend any free moment he got with Robin and the Kids. He wouldn't get these years back.
A/N I know the ending is a bit soppy but I have been feeling really down recently and so writing a soppy happy ending really cheered me up. Sorry if it ruined the story for anyone.