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23 February 2011 @ 02:45 pm
Close Encounters of the Father Kind (T4, P46: Father)  
Title: Close Encounters of the Father Kind
Prompt: Father
Author: baseballchica03
Word count: 640
Rating: PG (for a couple of swears)
Summary: Charlie has an unexpected encounter with his father that upsets them both.
Link to table - Table 4

"I spoke with Claudia today," Janine said as she eyed her menu.

"Oh?" Charlie replied distractedly, hiding behind his.

"She is quite excited about her visit next week."

"That's nice."

"I thought she might like to see the Art Institute while she is here," Janine continued.

"Mmm hmm."

"After that, we could strip naked and run into the ocean to avoid the impending alien invasion," she deadpanned.

"I'm sure she–" Charlie stopped mid-sentence. "Wait. What?"

"Ignore me all you like," Janine teased gently. "Just don't come crying to me when the aliens land in San Diego, and you don't know what to do." She reached across the table to take his hand. "You seem distracted. Is something wrong?"

Charlie nodded his head toward the bar. "Don't look, but my father just walked in."

Janine turned slightly, confused. "Why would he be here?"

"I said don't look! I don't know why, but, oh, shit. He's coming over here. Shit shit–"

"Charlie," a voice boomed from several tables away. "I thought that was you."

"Hello, Patrick," Charlie said through gritted teeth. Janine's jaw dropped.

"Bob, come over here," Patrick called, motioning to a short, balding man standing at the bar. "I want you to meet someone."

The man grabbed his drink and lumbered across the restaurant. "Bob," Patrick said, clearly oblivious to the fact that his presence was not welcome, "This is my son, Charlie. Charlie, this is my old friend, Bob."

Bob grinned widely and stuck out his hand. "Of course," he said. "I should have known. You look just like him. Nice to meet you, Charlie Thomas."

Charlie glared at Patrick. "Actually," he said as he shook Bob's hand, "It's Brewer now. Charlie Brewer."

"Excuse me?" Patrick asked.

"You heard me."

"When exactly did this happen?"

"Six years ago," Charlie spat out. "You remember, about ten years after you abandoned our family without so much as a word?"

Bob shuffled his feet uncomfortably. "So..." he said, looking down at Janine. "Who is this lovely young lady?"

Janine gave a concerned glance at Charlie, who was staring at his father with clenched fists. She cleared her throat. "Oh. Uh... Janine Kishi. I'm Charlie's fiancé."

"And when were you going to bother telling me you'd changed your name?" Patrick asked angrily.

"Fiancé?" Bob repeated with forced cheerfulness. "How nice. Congratulations!"

"After the next birthday card you sent me," Charlie retorted. "Or maybe the next time you called to see how I'm doing, which is great, by the way."

"Um, thanks," Janine replied to Bob, who was now tossing back the last of his gin and tonic with a large gulp.

"You are my son," Patrick said, pointing at his own chest forcefully. "He is not your father."

"Well he sure as hell acts a lot more like one than you ever did!" Charlie pulled his wallet from his back pocket. He tossed a few bills on the table and stood up. A brief, pleading look flickered across his face as he turned to Janine. He had to leave, now, before Patrick had the chance to get the upper hand in the conversation. Somehow Patrick had always been able to sweet talk his way out of pretty much anything, and Charlie did not want to hear any of it.

Janine stood up and grabbed his hand. "It was nice meeting you, Bob." She raised her eyebrow coolly. "Patrick."

Charlie and Janine walked toward the exit, leaving the two older men standing in the middle of the restaurant, Patrick still red-faced and blustering, Bob trying to calm him down. Janine whispered to the hostess that they'd left money for their drinks on the table then ushered Charlie out the front door.

Outside, they both took a deep breath of the cool evening air. "So," Janine said, giving Charlie's hand a squeeze. "Pizza?"
 
 
 
lucida: karen the witch hunterlucida on February 23rd, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
I love this! The whole Patrick dynamic was something that I always looked forward to reading about in the books, even though I'm normally a bigger fan of the charges.

You've really captured Charlie's and Patrick's voices, and I can definitely see Charlie changing his last name to Brewer (and the other Thomas siblings, for that matter). I also love the awkwardness of Bob and Janine talking in the background. ; P

Anyway, nice job! ♥
Roonil Wazlib: eyebrowsbaseballchica03 on February 24th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I always imagined that Charlie would want to change his name eventually. He's the oldest, probably has the clearest memories of Patrick before he left, and had to take on the most responsibility after he left. I can definitely see Kristy holding on to the Thomas name fiercely, and probably Sam, too. In my own mind, Charlie probably looks a lot like Patrick and wants to separate himself from the kind of man that Patrick was by taking on the name of someone who did act like a father, even if he didn't show up until later in his life.
Jenjennigan on February 23rd, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Want more Charlie/Janine! New favourite ship. Also, I really liked this fic :) You've captured a lot in one scene. Not I want to see Charlie and Janine's relationship from the beginning (or at least from the last fic) to the point where they're engaged. Pretty please?
Roonil Wazlib: dorkbaseballchica03 on February 24th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
I actually have some Department of Backstory in my head that explains how they got together and what they're doing in San Diego. I keep planning to write it, but I tend to get really stuck on fics that are longer than 1000 words/more than just a snapshot. Maybe I can work up to it. :)

Want more Charlie/Janine! New favourite ship.
Mwa ha ha, excellent! Come to the dark side. We have books and a hot football player. ♥
Nikkiimamaryanne on February 23rd, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Great job with this one!
Roonil Wazlib: COOKIE!baseballchica03 on February 24th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Lisaozqueen on February 24th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
Ohh, great job! I really loved this. &hearts
Roonil Wazlib: COOKIE!baseballchica03 on February 24th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
LuxKen27: BSC - incredulous Kristyluxken27 on February 24th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Ooh, very interesting! It's always intriguing to think about what a meeting between the eldest Thomas child and their erstwhile father would be like, especially considering the storyline in FF#1. I'm not sure I personally see Charlie being drawn into a sarcastic argument with his father out of the blue, but I do think this was pretty true to Patrick's character. He's so oblivious and self-absorbed that of course he'd immediately take umbrage if his kid was anything less than thrilled to see him, no matter how long it had been in the meanwhile.

I loved the side conversation between Janine and Bob, and the way you weaved that into the escalating argument between Charlie and Patrick. That was a stroke of genius, LOL, and really added to the tension of the piece.

All in all, very nice work! I never say boo to well-written Charlie-centric fic &hearts
Roonil Wazlib: guess whatbaseballchica03 on February 24th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I had a flash of an idea about the one line, "It's Brewer now," but I didn't want it to get too heavy, so I added the Janine & Bob bit. :) I'm so glad it worked for you.

In my mind, this scene is really out of character with Regular Everyday Charlie, but there's something about his father that makes him crazy. He would have remembered more of their life before Patrick left than any of the other kids, and I know we've already talked before about how I think Charlie probably took on a huge burden when he did go. I'd originally had a whole bunch more written into the part where Janine looks over at Charlie with concern, but it felt forced and more like an info dump. I wanted it to be able to stand on its own showing us a glimpse at Charlie's anger with his father, but I admit it probably belongs as part of a bigger piece.
gloriafan on August 4th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I love this! Very nice work capturing Charlie.