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11 February 2008 @ 07:30 am
Vignettes - Dumped  
Title: Dumped
Author: ladygray99
Chapter: 1/1
Pairing: Colby/Charlie, Don, Alan, OFC
Rating: FRT
Disclaimer: Belongs to other people, not me.
Warnings/Squicks: none
Summary: Don finds there’s nothing like family for balancing the old karma.
Previous chapters: Part of the Vignettes ‘verse after Varsity.
Notes: I guess really just a bit of silliness.  Feedback please.  o_o
Beta(s): irena_adler  \/\/00+ !!!!!!

 

Dumped

 

Don rushed into the house, not sure what he would find. Charlie had called in a panic hardly able to get two words out. All Don had managed to make out really was ‘Esther’ and ‘hysterical’. That had been enough.

 “Don, thank god you’re here,” Alan said.

 “What’s happening, what’s going on? Where’s Esther?”

 Charlie and Colby had rushed to the door as soon as Don had entered. Charlie looked a wreck, tears in his eyes and Colby looked completely beside himself.

 “I picked up Esther from school,” Colby said “I asked her how her day went and she went completely hysterical, just wouldn’t stop crying, wouldn’t let me touch her, we got home and she ran upstairs and locked herself in her room. She won’t let anyone in and we can hear her crying, and I tried to give her a hug and she just screamed ‘don’t touch me.’”

 Don felt his heart freeze. He knew he shouldn’t assume the worst but he’d been in the FBI too long. The worst case scenario was his life, and Colby’s, and to a large extent, Charlie’s.

 “Don, what if something happened?” Colby asked. “She won’t tell us what happened.”

 “You’ve got to talk to her, Don,” Charlie pleaded. “She’s always talked to you, before anyone else. She always talks with you. You’ve got to try.”

 Don nodded. “Ok, ok. I’ll try. Don’t...let’s not assume anything.  She’s fifteen, who knows what a person’s brain is doing at fifteen.”

 Don climbed the stairs like he was going to a funeral. He knocked on Esther’s door gently. “Esther, sweetie, it’s me, it’s Uncle Don. Can I come in?”

 “Go away!” Was the very clear scream from the other side.

 “Sweetie, I’m sorry but I’m going to come in anyways.” The room had been the one Don had grown up in. The baseball posters may have been long gone but he knew if he lifted up on the knob just right and stepped down on the right floorboard ... He heard the lock pop and the knob turned under his hand.

 He carefully peeked his head into the room. Where Charlie threw chalk and erasers, an irate Esther had the habit of chucking books and had a good pitching arm on her.

 Esther was curled into a tight ball on her bed, her back to the door. Don could see her body shake with sobs. Schrödinger was perched on a pillow looking as concerned as an old cat could manage. Don carefully sidestepped the piles of books that covered nearly every surface and the floor and sat down gently on the corner of the bed.

 “Esther, I know you’re not ok, so I won’t ask, but can you tell me what’s wrong?”

 “Sssshe left mmmmme.” Esther stuttered out. Don felt his heart begin to beat again as all the hellish scenarios left his mind. “Sssshe ssaid I wwwwasn’t normal. Ssssaid I wwwwas a ffffffreak.” Esther sat up. The tears had puffed up her eyes and nose and she was five shades of blotchy. “She said I shouldn’t like girls and...and she was going to prom with Mackie Fisher and I was a mistake!”

 “Oh, sweetie. I’m so, so sorry.” Esther began to cry hard again as Don pulled her into a hug. Don tried to take long soothing breaths as he patted Esther’s back like she four again and having a bad dream.

 Esther had shyly confided in him months earlier that she was pretty sure she liked girls. That had lead to a long and rather awkward conversation that Esther had decided in her genius wisdom that she’d rather have with her Uncle Don, on the theory that unlike her fathers, he liked girls too. Don hadn’t been able to fault her logic at the time, but it meant that he had become the recipient of the highs and lows of modern teen aged lesbian courtship.

 “Am I a freak, Uncle Don?” Esther sobbed from his shoulder.

 “No, no. You are perfect, you’re my number one girl and you are wonderful.”

 Esther sniffed and Don tried not to think about the amount of tears and snot currently getting on his jacket.

 “Girls are mean.” Esther declared tersely.

 “Yes, sometimes they are.”

 “Boys are stupid.”

 “Yes, they are often that.” Esther pulled back and gave Don her ‘you’re not being helpful’ look. “Hey, that’s what you’ve got to work with.”

 Esther folded her arms and closed her eyes. “It hurts so much, Uncle Don. I feel like I’m dying.”

 “I know. I’m sorry.”

 “I hate her.”

 “No you don’t, if you hated her it wouldn’t hurt this much.” Esther shook as a fresh wave of tears hit. “Hey now, don’t cry. You don’t have the complexion for it.” Esther gave a slight giggle though the tears. “You know who first told you that?” Esther shook her head. “Your Uncle Ian. You were about two months old pitching an absolute fit in the office, and he picked you right up and told you not to cry, said you didn’t have the complexion for it. I almost had a stroke trying not to laugh.” Esther giggled a little again and tried to sniff back some tears.

 “She’s a cheerleader, Uncle Don.”

 “I know. You told me.”

 “And a really good kisser.”

 Don cringed internally. “I know, you told me.”

 “And Mackie Fisher is a troglodyte! He can’t walk and breathe at the same time; I don’t know how he even mastered basic human speech.”

“I’m sure she’ll be miserable with him.”

“Good!”

“Want me to sick the IRS on her parents? I’m sure they’re the tax evasion type.”

Esther gave another little giggle and a sniff. “Could you?”

“We’ll see.” Don brushed some curls, damp with tears, from her face. “This might be for the best, I mean you’re going to university in a couple of months, your first publication will be out before you check into your dorm. Do you really want to be celebrating that with some cheerleader who doesn’t appreciate the wonderfulness that is you?”

“She’s a really good kisser, Uncle Don.”

Don sighed, reminding himself never to underestimate the power of teen aged hormones. “You know your fathers are worried sick?” Esther just looked away. “They think you’re dying up here, they can only think of the worst.” Esther bit her lip and shrugged a little. “You’re going to have to tell them something.” Esther shook her head. “It’s not like they’re in a position to be judgemental you know.”

“I just don’t...I don’t want to have that conversation yet.”

“Ok.” Don tried to smooth her hair down a bit. It was worse than Charlie’s “Tell you what. Why don’t you go wash your face ‘cause you look like hell.” Esther stuck her tongue out, “I’ll go down stairs and tell your dads that you had a bad break-up” Esther quickly started to object. “I’ll leave out the details, just enough that they’ll stop worrying. And after that we can go out for ice cream or something.”

“Can we go to the shop on Beach Street.” Esther asked softly.

“Why?”

“There’s this girl who works there after school...”

“Speaking as your wing man and the king of the bad decision rebound, give yourself a little time, ok?” Esther nodded and wiped her nose on her sleeve with a loud sniff. “Ok. Go get cleaned up. I’ll meet you down stairs.” Esther gave Don a hug and left the room.

Don took a deep breath and put his face in his hands, wondering how he ended up prime confidant of a teenaged girl. She should have someone her own age or at least gender to cry to. Then again every time Charlie had tried to cry to him in high school he’d just shooed him away. Don decided it was probably a karma thing.

Don headed downstairs where Charlie, Colby and Alan were anxiously waiting. Charlie jumped up.

“Don..?”

It’s ok, she’s ok.”

“What happened?” Colby asked.

“Broken heart, she was dumped.”

“She was dumped!” Alan exclaimed.

“She was dating!” Came from Charlie and Colby.

“It’s was one of those high school things. You know, there’s someone you like, you pass notes in class, hold hands during lunch, tell yourself it’s true love and three months later you find them making out under the bleachers with someone else and it’s the end of the world.”

“Oh poor thing.” Alan said with a little more sympathy than Charlie and Colby who still seemed caught up on the whole dating thing.

“Where is she?” Charlie asked.

“Washing her face. We’re going to go out for ice cream and talk about how girls are mean and boys are stupid and being fifteen is just hell in general.”

“I liked fifteen.” Charlie said.

“That’s because you had hot math professors inviting you out for romantic weekends and absurdly clear skin.” Don said.

“I had zits.” Charlie defended.

“I’ve seen the pictures from Princeton, you either had the clearest skin in the history of teenagers or were doing some interesting things with concealer.” Charlie blushed a little a looked away. Don rolled his eyes. “Never mind.”

Esther came slowly down the stairs and stood in front of her fathers. They both pulled her into a hug.

“Oh, sweetie I’m so sorry.” Colby said.

Esther shrugged. “I’ll be ok.” She mumbled.

“You’ll find someone wonderful one day, I promise.” Charlie said. “High school’s just really not the time to be looking.”

Don found himself pulled aside by his father. “Was it that cheerleading girl?” Alan asked softly. Don’s eyes bugged out. “The boys are oblivious to some things, I’m not.”

Don nodded “Yeah.”

Alan shook his head. “Probably for the best. Reminded me too much of Jenny what’s her name.”

“Francis?”

Right, she was no good for you.”

Don rolled his eyes. “There was nothing wrong with Jenny Francis.”

“She got you into all kinds of trouble and broke your heart.”

“I lived, she was a life lesson.”

“Right, never date six foot tall, clepto, blonds.”

“And an important lesson it was.”

Don turned back to where Esther was just managing to detangle herself from the joint parental hug.

“Come on, sweetie. Let’s go find out just how much chocolate it takes to get you sick these days.”

“My face will break out.”

“Don’t worry, your dad can give you good tips on concealer.”

 

 
 
 
ladygray99ladygray99 on February 10th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Damn strait ;-) Can't afford to loose a single fan.