Where Angels Fear to Tread
“Anyone in?” Don called out as he entered the house.
“In the dinning room.” He heard his dad call out.
“Hey dad, have you seen Charlie or Colby, they’re not answering their phones.” Alan looked up from his morning paper.
“I thought it was a day off?”
“It’s been revoked. Have you seen them?” There was thump, a groan and a slightly disturbing giggle from upstairs. Don looked at his watch. “You have got to be kidding? It’s eleven in the morning.”
“They haven’t been down for breakfast yet.”
There was another thump and groan.
“If they’ve got energy for that I’m not working Granger hard enough.” Don turned to head upstairs.
“I wouldn’t go up there if I were you.” Alan warned.
“FBI agents know no fear.”
By the time he got to Charlie’s door Don was afraid, and trying not to picture what could be making the various noises he was hearing. He knocked on the door. “Open up guys, I need to talk to you.” The sounds from the room went quiet.
“Ummmm. Not a good time Don.” Charlie called from the other side of the door.
“Can it wait?” Charlie asked. “I’m kinda tied up right now.”
Don looked at the floor. “Do I want to know if you mean that literally?” Don asked.
“Rule number two, Don!” Colby called out quickly.
“You’ve got thirty seconds then I’m coming in, I don’t care what’s going on!” Don counted slowly to thirty against muffled thuds and much cursing. “All right, that’s it.”
Don pushed open the door and quickly wished he’d just walked away. He averted his eyes quickly to the ceiling.
“Oh crying out loud Chuck, at least put on some shorts.”
While Colby had managed to get into shorts and a t-shirt Charlie was standing in the middle of the room, hands on his hips, naked as the day he was born, and the fact that he had been in the middle of something was still very obvious.
“My room.” Charlie said. “My house in fact.” Don took a deep breath and wished he hadn’t. The air tasted of sex, and somewhat disturbingly, gun oil.
“We’ve got another Grid killing.” Don said, eyes still planted firmly on the ceiling.
“No. No way.” Charlie and Colby said.
“It’s got to be a copycat.” Colby pointed out.
“Of course it’s a copycat, but we’ve got to get everyone down there to prove it’s a copycat so we can bump it back to LAPD.”
“It’s our day off, Don.” Colby wined.
Don risked lowering his eyes to look at Colby. “You, I still get to order out to the scene. Chuck here I’ve got to ask.”
“Are there numbers painted on the wall at the scene?” Charlie asked.
“Yes, which is why I need you to come down and tell us it’s got nothing to do with the real guy’s code, then you can come home.”
“That’s still killing my plans for the weekend.”
Don rolled his eyes. “Come down to the scene, do your thing, and you can take Granger home with you when you leave.”
“Hey! Since when am I a bargaining chip?” Colby objected.
“You haven’t wondered why you’ve been actually getting days off lately?” Colby shrunk down a bit and looked a little sheepish.
“Alright, give us five minutes.” Charlie said.
“Take ten, take a shower, and open a window in here.” Don said as a parting shot before making a quick retreat.
Don hurried down the stairs and sat across from his father.
“So you have been where angels fear to tread?” Alan said.
“What happens if you pour bleach in your eyeballs?” Don asked.
Don gestured to the stairs. “Doesn’t that bother you?”
Alan shrugged. “Well someone in this family needs to be getting some.”
“Hey! I...” Don was cut short by his father’s look. “I mean I could...” The look continued. “Alright, alright.” Don said in defeat. “You know there’s pool at the office as to how long those two are going to last.”
“Really? How much to get in.”
“Couple of bucks.”
“Anyone got forever and ever yet?”
Don laughed then looked at his dad. “You serious?”
“Come on, dad. Those two haven’t even said ‘I love you.’”
“Oh I’ll admit they’re both crap at interpersonal communication and it’s going to cause them all kinds of problems but...yeah...forever and ever, to have and to hold, yada, yada. That’s my bet.”
“You’re kidding.” Don said, not believing a word of it.
“No.” Alan said giving a serious look to his son. “I’m not. You didn’t see Charlie’s face when he heard Colby was shot. You’d have though he’d been hit himself. Whole drive to the hospital he had a pen and was trying to solve P verses NP on his hand. I haven’t seen him meltdown that hard since we lost your mother.”
“Ok, Charlie’s emotional but Granger...”
“Can you guess what he’s risking to be with Charlie, even in this day and age? FBI’s not exactly known for open, caring attitudes, his family’s military, what are they going to say when they find out, not to mention security clearances. I know it’s important in your line of work. Charlie’s rare and important enough they’ll let it slide, but Colby? No. Think about it Don, even here in LA they show simple affection at the wrong time in front of the wrong people. Well, I know you know how bad it could go, you’ve worked those cases.”
Don looked down at his hands. Outside the house Colby and Charlie were always good at keeping each other at arms length. Don had always assumed it was just basic professionalism, but Colby would know hate crime stats as well as he did, even in LA. Colby could probably handle himself if something went bad, but Charlie?
Alan flicked his morning paper back up.
“Tell whomever’s running the pool I’ve got ten bucks on wedding rings before all is said and done.”
Don had nearly forgotten the killing across town by the time Charlie and Colby came downstairs looking scrubbed clean, and professional, standing on the far edges of their personal space like a pair of roommates might, not lovers.
“Ok Don,” Charlie said. “Let's go save the city from itself.”
“And when we catch the guy I’ll make sure he apologizes for killing your weekend.”