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[personal profile] cat_13145
Title: Lessons Part 4
Author Cat_13145
Pairing(s): Don/Ian, OCs
Rating: I think this one's PG 13, but if you disagree, let me know.
Summary: Pre Series. Don doesn't know Charlie,but how well does Charlie know Don?
Notes/Warnings: There is a kiss in this one, but that's all. 
Beta [info]cerealkiller0 who rules in so many ways
Chapter 4

He could hear the conversation from where he sat.

“...try not to take it personally, Mr. Eppes. At the minute, Don’s just lashing out. You just happened to be in the way.”

A softer rumble of voices, something Ian couldn’t catch.

“I know it’s hard not to, but honestly all that tirade meant is that Don’s feeling vulnerable and he doesn’t want you seeing him this way. Trust me. We get FBI agents and Marines in here all the time, and 90% of them react in that way once they’re starting to heal.”

He watched the doctor, Folkens he had a vague memory her name was, place a hand on Alan Eppes’ shoulder.

“Go back and join your wife at the hotel and get some rest. The usual practice is just to leave them on their own for a bit, give them a chance to get themselves together. The machines’ll let us know if that changes.”

He hardly heard the rest of that conversation.
 
He needed to see Don.

Using the silence that had made him such a good sniper, he slipped past the doctor and Alan Eppes.

***
Every part of him ached and he just wanted everyone to leave him alone!

Rationally, he accepted that most of the aches were due to the infection and the antibiotics used to treat it, and that the hospital was limiting pain killers to avoid addiction, but it didn’t change the fact that no one had left him alone since he’d left the ICU, that he couldn’t tell if anyone was telling him the truth, and the one person who he could put up with that from wasn’t, couldn’t, be here.

And to top it all off, he’d yelled at his father, even though he knew it wasn’t his fault. He just felt shitty, and he...

He felt strong arms wrapping themselves around him, and breathed in a familiar scent of cordite and gun oil that never seemed to go away, no matter what Ian did.

He could feel the other agent’s breath gently ruffling his hair and realised to his complete shame, that he was crying.

“It’s O.K. Baby,” he heard Ian mutter. “I’ve got you.”

A part of him flashed back to the first time Ian had called him that. He’d glared up at him, nonplussed at first, but then he’d realised he liked it.

It made him feel safe, protected, special. As did Ian’s arms wrapped around him.

He buried his face slightly into Ian’s chest, feeling hands softly stroking his hair.

“Mmm. Missed you.” He muttered, feeling better for some reason. 

Under him Ian tensed suddenly.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, trying to pull himself away, but Ian held him tight.

“Nothing.” It was his human voice, so Don guesses it couldn’t be so bad. 

As he relaxed himself against Ian - the man’s chest was a darn sight more comfortable than the pillows they provided - he could have sworn he heard the sniper mutter: “Don’t you ever scare me like that again, Eppes.”

But it could have just been his imagination.

****

“Are you alright?”

Charlie often wondered what prompted people to ask that question, since it was fairly plain that he wasn’t, lying all but squalled in the area set aside for ambulances. He hadn't been looking or thinking about where he was going, then his foot had caught on the edge of the side walk, sending him flying.

Perhaps Pavel could read his thoughts, as he said, "I didn't mean from the fall"

Slowly, he reached out and picked up Charlie's notebook. “What’s this?” 

Charlie made to grab the notebook back, but Pavel was quicker. His eyes ran down the scribbled equations.

“Aah. So you did see? I admit I thought you must have when you ran out of there like all the wolves of Serbia were on your tail, and taking the car - you’re lucky Special Agent Cream wanted to talk to people here and offered me a lift and...” he trailed off at Charlie’s expression. “Do you want to talk?”

Pavel looked as young as one of Charlie’s students. It was strange to think he was actually the same age as Don. Charlie was about to shake his head, when he remembered the look Agent Edgerton had thrown him. Talking with a semi stranger might not be a good thing, but he was pretty sure it would be better for his health than going back inside.

With a confident ease, Pavel led the way to a small garden at the side of the hospital.

“You come here often?” Charlie asked.

Pavel laughed. “I try not to, but Nic was stationed in Washington for about six months, before she started teaching here, so yeah I’ve been here a couple of times.” He sighed. “Are you alright?”

Charlie sighed. “My brother is gay, and is apparently in a relationship with another man without telling anyone! So yeah, I’ve been better.”

“How much does Don know of your love life?” 

Charlie shrugged. He’d told his parents about Susan, but he didn’t know if Don knew.

“Maybe he felt it was none of your business.” Pavel said, playing with the hem of his top. “Or maybe he was worried. After all, the bureau does not look kindly on relationships between male and female agents, much less one between two men.”

He froze as he realised Charlie’s eyes were on him. 

“I never said, it was an Agent.” Charlie said, grabbing Pavel’s arm. “You knew?”

Pavel sighed. “Ian has been a friend for years. Yes I knew.” He paused. “Look, you have every right to be unhappy, but I would just like to say three things.” 

He chewed his lip, which made him look even younger. “Firstly, Ian, Nic and I...we grew up in a Catholic Orphanage, St. Joseph's, though everyone we knew called it Joey’s Jailhouse. It was where they sent the kids they couldn’t foster. Most of the kids there had nine or ten homes behind them. Ian was a street kid, virtually feral when they found him, and Nic and I were untraceable. We’d been found with a dead immigrant with only limited papers. They didn’t even try fostering us. We were just sent straight to St. Joseph's. It...It doesn’t make you feel very good.” He paused. 

“Previously, all I’ve seen Ian interested in is moving up the table of shooters. But now...” he trailed off. “I know it’s a cliché, but I’ve never seen Ian, so happy, so relaxed.” Or so tense, he though, but that was more linked to the protective Alpha Male tendencies of the man, and not a good thing to mention here.

“Two,” he said, holding up two fingers. “Ian is a good guy, but he is as stubborn as a mule, and if what Nic says is true, your brother is just as bad, so I don’t think your opinion is going to have any impact on their relationship, besides making the rest of us miserable.”

He watched the curled haired man concede the point. It was hard not to.

“And third...” He paused and swallowed. “Ian has always looked on Nic and I like his siblings. He’d kill to protect us. But your brother...” The electric blue eyes beneath the auburn curls gazed out at him. “He’d die to protect.”
TBC
 
 
 

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