A/N: Okay, my friend and I could not wait for the next Royal Pains episode and decided to come up with this! She's helped me a ton (as always) so here it is. Feel free to tell me what you think!
It's a typical sunny day in The Hamptons - perfect weather for the rich and powerful to go out on their rock-lined patios to soak up some UV rays. Also typical, is that Hank is stuck listening to Evan's nonsensical ramblings about HankMed's 'expansive publicity outlets'. Granted, it's Evan, so he shouldn't be surprised, and normally he would have more patience but it's seven in the morning, he's only just gotten his coffee and he spent all day yesterday running around tending to an array of different ailments that needed the most specific treatment he's ever given. Honestly, he just needs a break and Evan's of course all wide eyes and gesticulations and barely pausing to take a breath in between his animated sentences.
"Ev..." Hank starts, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
"...and Hank, if you just let me have a little leeway, I could really turn this into something, you know? Not that we NEED a huge something or anything but it's not exactly a secret that we don't advertise that much."
"Ev," Hank says, a little sharper.
But Evan's now shoveling his cereal into his mouth while he talks and the combination of mushed-up Fruit Loops and business revenue exclamations are enough to make his stomach turn.
"Seriously, though-" Evan slurps his milk back loudly-"we could get more attention if you let up a bit because I know you're a little shy promoting yourself but see, the thing is-"
"EVAN!" Hank slams his coffee mug down on the countertop.
"Hank, if you're really that upset about it I could just handle it all. You don't even have to do an OUNCE of work. Well, except for photo ops and stuff like that-"
"Evan..." Hank says tersely. "I don't want to talk about this right now."
"Okay, cool, we can talk about this later, maybe like noon or something? Because if we decide to do this we should start today."
Hank levels Evan with a stare Jill has been known to have coined "pre-caffeine Hank". "Evan, I don't want to talk about it at all today or tomorrow or the next day."
Evan falters just a fraction. "I don't...when do you...wanna talk about it...then?"
"Never," Hank says simply, getting up and turning to the fridge for something to eat.
Evan looks at him, confused. "What?"
"Evan, I've told you countless times before - I don't. Want. To. Advertise. It'll just be forced and unrealistic. Patients know that I care because I help them get better - not through some gimmicky commercial."
Evan looks a little irritated. "It's not like you're selling your soul, Hank."
"I'd be selling myself, which is just not something I'm comfortable with."
"Well you don't have to go all Leo DiCaprio on me - I'm not asking you to jump ship, just put out some tasteful flyers or something at the least. It helps people out to see things up close."
"Because the way I look might make a difference in their health?"
"You're not listening to what I'm saying, Hank."
"Actually, I think that's the opposite. Every time we talk about this you don't listen to what I have to say, you're only concerned with how YOU feel about whatever harebrained idea you come up with."
"Harebrained? Who was it that helped to create this business in the first place, busting MY ass to get us some clients while you were off moping about getting fired?"
"I was not moping!" Hank protests. "Just because you're so used to losing everything all the time doesn't mean I can just bounce back to normal, like it doesn't even faze me."
Evan seems to flinch at Hank's words. "I wasn't trying to fix you or anything - just trying to help you! We wouldn't even be here right now if it wasn't for me."
"I get it, Ev," Hank says in exasperation. "But you don't need to keep improving everything all the time. HankMed doesn't need to be plastered on billboards."
"I didn't ask for billboards, specifically."
"Don't be a smartass."
"Hank, come on! I just think we could use a few ideas."
"I said NO, Evan."
"You always say no! Why don't you ever have any faith in my ideas?"
"Because they're always just that - ideas! Most of the time they get us into trouble. No, they get ME into trouble."
"Is that what I am to you? A nuisance?"
"You haven't really done anything to prove otherwise." Hank snaps out the words like a reflex, a knee-jerk reaction that leaves a shocked brother in its wake.
"Glad to know I bring so much to the table," Evan says crisply.
"Can we just not do this right now?" Hank asks tiredly. "I was very busy yesterday."
"Oh yeah?" Evan asks with mock surprise. "I guess it'll come as a shock to you, then, that I spent all day yesterday organizing HankMed's financials. You'd be surprised how it piles up when no one gives it any attention."
"Oh, like how you gave it so much attention when you lost all our money?" Hank can't help but blurt out, his irritation morphing into something much bigger, more powerful. Some small part of him knows they've managed to surpass all that but he can't lie to himself and say that it doesn't niggle at him once in a while, the fact that he never asked for any of it and got it torn away from him just the same.
Evan's blue eyes, light and playful, seem to darken at Henry's declaration. "I know I messed up, I admitted that, Henry. I'm sorry that my mistakes are the only things by me that you remember." With that, Evan crisply leaves the room, disappears off and leaves Hank with just a near-empty mug of coffee and an open refrigerator - its limited contents staring back at him, almost daring him to speak up.
Hank and Evan dodge each other for the next few days, finding ways to make sure they don't have to glimpse the other. A weird pall falls over the kitchen's atmosphere, rendering it uninhabitable. Hank will only eat his oatmeal outside or snag a banana on his way to a patient's house. Food surreptitiously appears in the refrigerator and in turn, Hank makes a conscious effort to clean whatever dishes he eats off. Divya takes notice of the lack of Evan and Hank brushes off her attempts to weasel her way into it, simply saying, "It'll all blow over."
Evidently, Hank's vague brushoff does not pan out the way he thinks (hopes) it will, as Evan scarcely appears in the house at all. He would be genuinely worried if he hadn't seen Evan's van parked in the expansive driveway one night, stumbling into the home exhausted from a hectic day. He wonders exactly what Evan's doing with his time, always gone from the house but somehow sorting out the mail and stacking it, dividing it into HankMed and personal every afternoon, as evidenced by the envelopes on the dining room table.
Two days turns into four days and then four into six and the mixture of regret and irritation evolves into an almost sort of…emptiness. He almost misses Evan's snarky comments that would no doubt find their way to the Hamptons socialites that contracted alcohol poisoning. He misses Evan's typically-animated persona, seeming to merit permission from the room to gain attention, even if it isn't always positive attention.
He spends an entire hour jogging by the beach and trying to formulate ways to get Evan to forgive him. It won't take a simple bowl of popcorn and a movie marathon this time, he knows. Maybe remind him that he supplies a good quotient to the business, coupled with frozen yogurt? Hank, in his almost-ignorant approach at Evan's feelings, does not expect at all the almost volatile reaction his brother gives him the next evening, when he makes it a point to be in the kitchen when he knows Evan will appear.
It's six in the evening, the sun beginning to cast a hazy glow over the remnants of the day, when Hank and Evan finally speak. Hank orders a pizza, sits down at the kitchen table and waits for his brother to arrive. He idly taps a beat against the pizza box and then abruptly stops at the sound of the back door opening.
He hurriedly tries to make it look like he's just casually standing there, about to have a piece of pizza, when he hears his brother's light footfalls approaching the kitchen.
"Hey, I got some pizza – want any?" Hank half-lifts the box like an offering.
Evan, walking right on by, says, "No thanks." The soft quality of his tone makes Hank miss his normal jubilation. He quickly walks over to his brother, places a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Ev," he starts, but Evan's shoulders rise to his ears, flinching away from Hank's touch.
Hank is so surprised by Evan's reaction that he just watches in surprise as Evan swiftly turns, moving his brother's hand and exhaling heavily under his breath.
"I just wanna talk to you, Ev," Hank persists, his words being thrown like a secret.
Evan's eyes lock onto Hank's and finally he says, "I heard you loud and clear the other day, Henry." The crisp elocution of his words renders Hank speechless.
"Evan…" he finally manages to speak around the suspicious lump forming in his throat but Evan's already walking away again.
Another week passes with the same stretching feeling, Evan avoiding Hank, Hank tending to his patients and Divya rolling her eyes and sighing at the two brothers' dance around each other. It's not until two weeks and four days after the fight that Hank, Evan and Divya all land in the same vicinity.
Hank's out in the town trying to clear his head and Divya's tagged along with him for something to do so they're drinking coffee and Evan's wandering aimlessly around, trying to spend some time out of the house.
"So, Hank…" Divya looks at the doctor over her cup of espresso. "Are you going to tell me why you and Evan are acting like children?"
Hank knows he's trapped this time. Divya's been trying to get him to talk for days and for once he actually feels like it. "We got in a little argument about HankMed publicity." Hank admits, rubbing a hand over his eyes so he won't have to look at the PA. "Evan was giving all these ideas and I'd had a hard day – I was a little annoyed. I snapped at him."
Divya looks at Hank with a curious eye. "What did you say that's got him ignoring you?"
Hank looks down at the table. "It's…it's stupid, I-" suddenly his words are cut off as a large green truck careens into a black Escalade right beside the sidewalk café. In typical doctor fashion, Hank springs out of his chair and rushes to the scene, immediately taking notice of the man behind the wheel of the truck, nursing a wound at his forehead.
"Hi, I'm Hank, I'm a doctor. Can you tell me where it hurts?" Hank asks, looking for any visible signs of injury other than the one on the man's forehead.
Meanwhile, Divya is rushing to dial for an ambulance and suddenly Evan's at her side, taking everything in with surprise.
Once Divya's done relaying the information to the 911 operators, glancing at Evan the entire time, she turns to the younger Lawson with shock. "What are you doing here?" she asks.
The young woman in the Escalade swings out of the driver's side door and steps onto the sidewalk, completely dazed.
Hank, preoccupied with the man in the truck, shouts, "Divya!", casting a sidelong glance at the stumbling Escalade driver, not even noticing Evan, a crowd already forming around the crashed cars in interest.
Divya gives Evan one last look as if to say, we're not done here and then runs over to the Escalade driver to get her to sit down.
Hank checks on the man in the truck, who is seemingly okay, save for a little shock. He takes his head out of the window and turns, ready to go help Divya, when another car spins toward the fray. His feet stay rooted to the road in complete surprise and that's when from a few feet away, Evan pushes through the crowd, shouting, "HANK!"
Because, the thing is, nothing's ever been so simple. Hank is in danger and he's not moving and Evan's got two perfectly good legs so he does what his adrenaline and natural intuition tells him to do: he bolts over to his brother, who is now doubly surprised, not only at his impending doom but that his brother's suddenly decided to materialize before him to watch.
But that's when Evan's arms are jutting out towards him and he's being pushed backwards, meeting the ground in a kaleidoscope of colors and Evan was there but now he's not and Hank is pretty sure he hears Divya scream as the impact of the oncoming vehicle propels his brother down the road, rolling and stopping, face-down.