The only thing that's mine is the restraining order Don filed against me and the thinly veiled threats that I'd get to Charlie over his dead body. *cackles and plots*

Mild spoiler-ishness for 4.14 Checkmate. Sort of.

For my Lu, as always. 3

Charlie expected preferential treatment when he joined the other new FBI agents in training.

Not that he wanted it, but he knew that the instructors knew his brother and would make the obvious connection to him through his surname.

What he didn't expect was the same treatment from the junior agents learning with him.

They shouldn't have known him, shouldn't have known Don, so, Q.E.D., there shouldn't have been any special treatment.

Unless he was just so obviously not an FBI agent that they thought the deference was necessary. He was curious as to what they thought the explanation was for his presence here.

None of them asked, and he wasn't sure how he would explain anyway, so it remained a mystery.

There was one exception to the rule.

Agent Briznowski didn't seem to care that Charlie's big brother was the SAC of the Violent Crimes Squad. If anything, that seemed to be motive for him to work Charlie even harder.

And since Briznowski was in charge of the 'self-defense/hand-to-hand combat' portion of their training, 'harder' tended to mean 'more painful'. If not from the bruises, then from the sore muscles the next day.

Charlie wasn't even sure why Don wanted him to learn this part.

As if he was EVER going to get close enough to any of their suspects or witnesses who could harm him without Colby or Don or even Megan nearby.

But it was part of the course—and Briznowski wasn't exactly the kind of person Charlie was comfortable addressing with the issue of the intensity of the training—so Charlie kept his mouth shut and his eyes and ears open and tried really hard to not flinch when it was his turn to spar with the burly agent.

He had to admit, it was kind of... empowering knowing how to throw a person twice his size over his shoulder.

Not that he'd actually managed that feat, but some of his fellow trainees said he was doing a really good job for a civilian.

He was still the one being thrown more often than not, but he had a feeling that had more to do with his hesitation when it came to hurting these perfectly nice FBI agents than a lack of the understanding of the physics needed.

He was pretty sure that he'd be able to actually apply the right amount of force at the proper angle if it was someone who he really felt was a threat.

Mostly sure.

Hopefully, he'd never have to test that theory.

And he actually did really well in most of the training.

Once he got past his issues with the fact that he was firing a gun, his marksmanship was among the highest in the class.

His driving was... well, it sucked anyway, and he did pass that section, even if it wasn't with any kind of honors.

His surveillance wasn't the best, either, but that was probably because he kept getting distracted by things in his head, students' proofs and that article Larry was working on that he wanted some equations double-checked. Oh, and what to get for Amita's birthday.

But he didn't really think he'd ever have to put that to much practical use.

It wasn't like we was training to be an actual agent. He'd have one of those nearby if surveillance was needed.

The profiling section was fascinating, but he tended to get caught up on some of the less important aspects and completely missed others. Other people had never been his forte though, so that was completely understandable.

He'd learned a lot of interesting things from the 'crime scene etiquette' section—including the fact that his brother had a bad habit. He wondered why no one called Don on his gum-chewing, but assumed it was because as an SAC, Don could get away with things like that.

The physical training, section, however, was kicking his ass—pun... maybe intended.

Briznowski was a perfectionist and—while Charlie could certainly appreciate that—he just didn't think it should be that big a deal that the geeky math consultant couldn't throw someone twice his size across the room.

It seemed to be a personal insult to Briznowski, though.


Charlie sighed and stared at the ceiling a moment longer before he reluctantly braced his hands and pushed up to a sit.

"Look, Agent, I really appreciate your dedication, but—"

"I'm not in your class, Professor, so don't give me a lecture. You're in mine and that means when I tell you 'again' you get your scrawny ass off the mat and try it again."

Charlie rolled his eyes, but stood.

"I'm not trying to disrespect you, I just think— AAAUGH!" Charlie's shoulder dropped and he twisted his body as he'd been doing repeatedly for the last few hours, but when he tried to get a grip like he'd been shown, his hands slipped.

Which meant that when he tried to push upward with his shoulder, he wasn't properly positioned for the toss.

That and improper foot placement—and bracing—meant that instead of throwing Briznowski over his shoulder, he, himself, was picked up and carried along until his instructor/assailant decided to leverage his weight around and throw Charlie to the mat.


Charlie hit with an explosive breath and a wince for the bruises that were forming bruises, and let his arms drop to the sides.

Was it four o'clock yet?

"Hey, Briznowski, you beating up my little brother?"

Charlie's eyes closed and he tried really hard to spontaneously discover the ability to phase through the mat into the floor.

"I wouldn't be if he'd fight back," Briznowski said.

"That true, Chuck?" Don asked, voice now coming from directly above Charlie.

He opened his eyes and glared. "Don't call me that. And I don't see why I have to learn this anyway."

"Because I said so," Don told him. "And if you want me to stop calling you 'Chuck', then make me."

Charlie refused to take the offered hand, scowling.

"I know what you're trying to do and it won't work."

Don smirked in amusement. "Oh yeah? What am I trying to do?"

"You're trying to annoy me so I'll attack you."

Don shrugged. "I was trying to help you up, actually, but if you don't want the help..."

Charlie jackknifed and grabbed the hand before it went out of range and pulled, throwing his whole body-weight into the effort to stand up.

It wasn't going to work, but he couldn't let Don get away with it completely.

Don levered him up and then jerked his head at the center of the mat.

"Come on."


"No, what?"

"No, Don, I'm not going to play your stupid game."

"What game? I'm offering you a chance to kick my ass. Briznowski is the best instructor in the Bureau outside of Quantico. You actually stand a chance now that he's shown you his tricks."

"Tricks that you know as well," Charlie pointed out and shook his head. "No."

"Charlie, come on. You're just going to admit defeat like that? Not even try?"

Charlie's jaw firmed, hands coming to rest on his hips. He knew it was stupid to say it, but when his brother got that tone in his voice that said he was humoring Charlie, it was almost impossible to resist.

"Maybe I don't want to hurt you."

Don laughed. "Hurt me? You're not going to hurt me, Charlie."

Charlie really wanted to prove his brother wrong—well, not the part about hurting him, not really.

But a bruise or two wouldn't be so bad, right? Don got those all the time at work, so that hardly counted anyway.

It didn't matter though, because Charlie wasn't going to give in to this juvenile attempt at reverse psychology.

"No," Charlie said and turned to head for the locker room.

It sounded terribly unscientific, but he felt more than heard Don rush him in an attempt to tackle him.

Charlie spun in place, his temper flaring at the fact that Don wouldn't accept his refusal, and at the sight of his brother charging forward, dropped his shoulder and planted his feet.

He got a solid grip on his brother's body and heaved upward, his anger combining with Don's momentum, increasing the force so that when he reached the proper angle and shifted his stance just so, Don kept going right over Charlie's shoulder and flipped through the air, landing on his back with an, "OOMPH!"

Charlie straightened and glared for a moment until it sank in what he'd done and his eyes went wide. "Don!"

He scrambled over and dropped to his knees, ignoring their protests from the recent abuse they'd taken, and leaned over his brother who was coughing and wheezing.

"Don, are you okay? I'm so sorry, I didn't—"

"Charlie," Don gasped, grabbing his brother's arm. "I'm fine. Just got the wind knocked out of me." He coughed as Charlie sagged. "Which is kind of the point, by the way. Good job, little brother."

A hand landed on Charlie's shoulder and he looked up to see Briznowski grinning at him. "I knew you could do it, Professor."

Charlie sighed, mixed feelings of elation at accomplishing the task and shame at giving in when he'd not intended to flooding him along with the adrenaline rush that was fizzing in his veins.

Don pushed up and Charlie helped him, though he was scowling. "You're an ass," he informed his brother.

Don laughed, then coughed. "If that's what it takes to make sure you know how to take care of yourself, then yeah. I'm an ass."

Charlie shook his head. "Did I mention you're stupid and stubborn too?"

Don grinned and reached up to ruffle Charlie's hair. "Yeah? Good thing I'm the only one in our family that's like that, huh?"

Charlie ignored him in favor of standing and looking to Briznowski. "So can I go then?"

He got a hearty slap on the shoulder that almost sent him back down to the mats. "Yeah, Professor. Class dismissed."

"Good. I was beginning to calculate the quickest path to the door and the odds that I'd make it before you could catch me."

"You thought you could outrun me?" Briznowski said, highly amused.

"No. Thus the continuing calculations."

"Hoping the numbers would change if you continued to calculate them?" Don asked.

"Of course not," Charlie said.

Don snorted. "Yeah, sure you weren't."

"I wasn't!"

"Hit the showers, Chuck. We're supposed to meet Dad in half an hour and they're not going to let you in the restaurant if you still smell like the mats on this floor."

"I'm going. I'm going. And don't call me Chuck!"

Review, plz&thx.