Title: An Office (As postulated by Schrödinger) (team angst)
Rating/Category: PG, Gen, pre-show
Spoilers: Identity Crisis 1.08
Summary: Don is like a cat in a box and he’s tired of wondering if he’s alive or dead.
Notes: For some reason these numb3rswriteoff fics keep coming out gen. I would like feedback since this is a little different from my usual stuff.
This fic was written for the Angst vs Schmoop Challenge at numb3rswriteoff. After you’ve read the fic, please rate it by voting in the poll located here. (Your vote will be anonymous.) Rate the fic on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the best) using the following criteria: how well the fic fit the prompt, how angsty [or schmoopy] the fic was, and how well you enjoyed the fic. When you’re done, please check out the other challenge fic at numb3rswriteoff. Thank you!</lj></lj>
An Office (As postulated by Schrödinger)
Don flipped the ball in the air just a few inches, watched it spin. For some reason he thought of his brother. It was one of the few things they had agreed on as kids. The beauty in the spin of a perfect curve ball. Charlie had babbled on about the math. Don had admired the skill and precision.
Don wanted to toss the ball, hard. Wanted to throw it right through a wall but the manager’s office was barely bigger than a closet and filled 90% with desks. There wasn’t enough room for a good wind up.
“I don’t understand this Eppes.” Don’s manger waved Don’s letter though the air in front of his face. Don shrugged.
“I should have hit the pitch.”
“You did hit it.”
“I should have…” Don sighed and raked his fingers through his hair. “I should have hit it better. It was perfect. It was practically wrapped in a bow. It should have been in the parking lot, not left field.”
“So you’re not a power hitter. That’s not news.”
“I’m never making the majors, boss.”
“Not with that attitude.”
“I’m playing clean. I’m playing clean and I’m working hard and I’m pushing myself and…” Don gestured to the dingy wall where photos of past Rangers who had made it big hung. “And I’m never going to be one of these guys.”
“Eppes, look, I know you get in moods, I know you get…melancholy. There are good medications for that now.”
Don cringed. “This isn’t that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes!” Don snapped. “It’s not that.”
Don got up and tried to pace the office. It wasn’t easy since the room was only two steps across. It was more like just bouncing off the walls. Don thought of Charlie again. The last time he had seen Charlie they had gotten drunk. Don was still surprised that Charlie was old enough to drink. Charlie had drunkenly explained about a cat in a box somewhere that was alive and dead as long as no one opened the box. Don vaguely wondered if it worked on people or just cats. If someone suddenly burst into the small stuffy room and looked at him would he suddenly drop dead?
“I’m good enough for here.” Don said slowly “but here isn’t enough and I’m not getting called up and I know it and the other guys know it and they’re being damn nice about it but…”
“Sit down Eppes.” Don sat. “Give yourself another season.”
“No.” Don shook his head. “No. I’ve got an interview in Virginia in two weeks and if I pass that I can make the next Quantico intake.”
The manager nodded slowly. “Okay. This is the bit you really need to explain. The FBI?”
Don shrugged. “I’ve got the criminal justice degree. I’m in good shape, I’m not an idiot.”
“This is about that girl.”
Don leaned the chair back as far as it would go staring at the patterns of cracked paint on the ceiling. “It’s not about the girl.”
The girl in question had banged on his motel room door by accident, in Phoenix, late after a game. She had been dripping blood and terrified of the man right behind her. Don’s roommate had taken care of the man with a well aimed fast ball at close range while Don had tried to stop the bleeding.
“It’s not about the girl” Don said softly. “This is…It’s always been plan B. Plan A’s not happening.”
“You’re not letting it happen”
“It’s not happening.” Don repeated. “Time to get out of here. Time to open the box, see if I walk out of here or see if I drop dead.”
AN2: The more I think about this the more I think this might me my Whitman 'verse Don.